OSHA Safety Manuals | Wear Your Seatbelt
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seatbelt

Wear Your Seatbelt

Wear Your Seatbelt

Thousands of people, apparently believing themselves immune to the laws of physics, die each day as a result of vehicle accidents because they were not wearing seatbelts. According to the laws of physics, if a vehicle is traveling at 30 miles per hour, its contents and passengers are also moving at 30 miles per hour. The vehicle’s sudden stop at 30 miles per hour can mean the difference of life or death to the passengers wearing seat belts.

People are a vehicle’s most valuable content and seat belts keep people in place. In a crash, unbelted passengers will fly toward the point of impact, colliding with anything in their path, like dashboards, windshield or steering wheels with several pounds of moving force. While it’s dangerous to smash into a dashboard or windshield, it can be deadly to be “thrown clear.” Thrown clear of what? Telephone poles, trees, or oncoming traffic? Thrown through what? The windshield or door? Airborne objects maintain momentum as they sail, without the option of where or how they land. In a collision, passengers launched from a vehicle are 25 times more likely to die.

In a vehicle accident, the safest place to be is inside the vehicle, attached to the vehicle’s seat. It’s the seat belt that keeps passengers in place. In a collision, the one part of the vehicle that stays reasonable intact, no matter how battered its outsides might be, is the vehicle’s seats.

For high speeds, nighttime driving, and bad weather many passengers do buckle up, but the fact is that most fatalities occur in dry, sunny weather, at speeds under 40 miles per hour and within 25 miles of work or home. Perhaps you are a safe driver in control of your vehicle, but there are a lot of other drivers not in control of their vehicles, drivers who’ve drunk too much, not had enough sleep, didn’t see the light change. You can’t control them. Seat belts are your best protection against those drivers. In California, wearing seat belts is the law. Buckle up and protect yourself so you don’t become another statistic in the accident and fatality records.