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Even if your vehicle is equipped with air bags, always wear your seat belt. If you don't, you may not be in the right position to benefit from the protection air bags provide. Remember, air bags do not protect you in a roll-over or side impact collision. Seat Belts are required in every state; otherwise, you will be cited.

Everywhere, the automobile seat belt is required, and the penalties for failure to use them are steep both in injury and monies and some sustained injuries can have deadly consequences.

Further, depending on the type of crash you are in, you could suffer severe brain injury and these can range from a minor concussion to a fatal injury. In crashes, not all victims are thrown out of vehicles. People that are not thrown have a better chance of survival than people being thrown from a vehicle without the use of seatbelts. Any of these injuries could take anywhere from a day or months before symptoms are experienced. Some injuries can have deadly consequences.

The biggest reasons wearing a seat belt is crucial when in a vehicle because it shields you from potentially being projected out of a car. In an accident, passengers or drivers of a vehicle can get ejected out of the vehicle if the hit is hard enough. The front, rear, and side windows are all potential areas passengers can be expelled through. Often, this will result in death or severe injury.

Another reason seat belts should be taken seriously is that passengers sitting in the back of a car who wear shoulder and lap safety belts are 44% more likely to survive in a crash than those who do not. Furthermore, passengers riding in the rear seat of Vans or SUVs wearing a seat belt in such a way are 73% more likely to survive! Many people still choose not to wear their seat belt or decide to wear it incorrectly.

Without question, seat belts save lives, but, they do not protect the head and neck. The seat belt stops your torso from further forward motion and pulls you back into the seat. During this motion the head and neck are pushed forward and snapped back at speed, often causing damage to the muscles and joints of the neck. Additionally, the speed at which this occurs depends on the speed the vehicle was traveling. At faster speeds, the forward motion can still carry the head into the dash of the car. The airbag cushions the head and neck and stops then from colliding at full force with the dash.

Safety belts must be worn by all drivers and front-seat passengers age 8 and over even if the vehicle has air bags. It is the responsibility of the driver to ensure that all front-seat passengers ages 8 to 16 obey this law. Anyone found guilty of disobeying this law is subject to a fine and court costs. Children under age 16 are covered by the Child Passenger Protection Act. A child up to age 16 not in a safety seat must wear safety belts regardless of the location in the vehicle. Drivers under age 18 are required to limit passengers to one in the front seat and the number of seat belts in the back seat. However, during the first six months of their license (or until they reach age 18, whichever occurs first) they are limited to only one passenger under age 20 (except immediate family, including siblings or children of the driver). All passengers under age 18, with a driver under age 18, regardless of location in the vehicle must be belted. Exceptions are motorcycles and second division vehicles with only a front seat. In a second division vehicle, more than one passenger is allowed, provided that each passenger is in properly secured safety belts. - Always wear your seat belt, and insist that your passengers do the same. One non-restrained passenger can seriously injure others in the vehicle -Seat belts help prevent internal injuries by spreading the force of a collision across two of the human body's strongest areas: the pelvis and upper chest. To ensure the proper distribution of force, the lap belt should be positioned across the upper thighs, and the diagonal belt across the chest. -Never slip the diagonal belt behind your body — the lap belt alone cannot prevent you from being thrown forward or out of the vehicle. Use the lap belt at all times, as well. Without this restraint, your body would be thrown under the diagonal belt and into the dashboard or steering wheel. -Make sure your belt fits snugly against your body. If it is too loose, you could be injured by being thrown against the belt itself.

Child Passenger Protection Act The Child Passenger Protection Act requires the use of an appropriate safety restraint system for children under age 16. Any person transporting a child under age 16 is responsible for that child’s safety. Children under age 8 must be secured appropriately in an approved child restraint system, which includes a booster seat. A child weighing more than 40 pounds may be transported in the back seat of a motor vehicle while wearing only a lap belt if the back seat is not equipped with a combination lap and shoulder belt. Air Bag Safety Alert Air bags must be used along with lap and shoulder safety belts. All children through the age of 12 should ride buckled up in the back seat. Child safety seats should never be installed in the front seat of a vehicle with a passenger-side air bag. Drivers should sit as far away from the steering wheel as possible at least 10 to 12. Hold the steering wheel from the sides so that arms do not come between the air bag cover and the chest. Sit as though you were aiming the module toward your chest, not your face. Front passenger seats should be pushed back from the air bag, and passengers should avoid leaning toward the dashboard.

About every twelve minutes, someone in the U.S. dies from a motor vehicle crash. Trying to prevent these crashes is one part of motor vehicle safety. Here are some things you can do to be safer on the road: Most deaths in traffic accidents are due to the occupants being thrown from the vehicle. BECAUSE they were not wearing their seat belt.

-Avoid distractions -Don't drive after drinking alcohol or doing drugs -Don't drive when you are tired -Don't exceed the speed limit -Use car seats for children -Wear your seat belt

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