Advantages of Wearing a Seat Belt

by Mary Flinn; Updated October 25, 2017

Seat belt safety has come a long way. Between 1975 and 2000, over 135,000 lives were saved by seat belt use, and as usage increases, traffic fatalities decrease. But we still have a long way to go. Despite advanced restraint systems and tough legislation, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports 25 percent of Americans fail to buckle up, an average below other industrialized nations. Nonetheless, the advantages of wearing a seat belt have proven to be an effective tool in automobile safety.

Life

Seat belt usage reduces the chance of traffic-related fatalities by 45 percent. According to NHTSA, in 2006 over 15,000 lives were saved by seat belt use.

Ejection

In most cases, wearing a seat belt prevents ejection from the vehicle. 2006 NHTSA statistics show 75 percent of drivers ejected during a car accident were killed. Only one percent of them were wearing a seat belt.

Injury

Wearing a seat belt minimizes the body's contact with the interior of the car resulting in fewer injuries. According to NHTSA, seat belt usage reduces the chance of being injured by up to 50 percent.

Severity

Seat belts spread the force of impact over larger parts of the body reducing severity of injuries. Injuries sustained when not wearing a seat belt can be up to five times greater.

Cost

Average medical costs for belted drivers are 60 percent less than for unbelted drivers.

About the Author

Mary Flinn is a veteran court reporter specializing in technical and medical testimony. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in interdisciplinary studies from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. She has written articles on her career and interests, which include travel, healthy living, and outdoor activities.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Rebecca Jackson http://www.flickr.com/photos/rebeccajackson/