You’ve heard it a thousand times: Buckle up before you start the engine. But is wearing a seatbelt really that important?
The numbers don’t lie. In 2014, 55 percent of people between the ages 13 and 20 who died in traffic accidents were not wearing seatbelts, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In fact, buckling up can reduce your risk of serious injuries or death by half.
Despite awareness campaigns, nearly 10 percent of New Yorkers do not wear their seatbelts, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This is partly due to myths circulating about seatbelt use. Common misconceptions include:
- Your chances of survival increase if ejected from the vehicle;
- Seatbelts are uncomfortable and restrictive;
- Whether or not you wear a seatbelt has no effect on other people;
- Large SUVs and trucks are strong enough to protect occupants who do not wear seatbelts;
- And lap belts are just as effective as lap-and-shoulder belts.
Although wearing a seatbelt can reduce your risk of injuries, a crash with a negligent driver can still end in tragedy. If you were injured by another motorist, contact Antin, Ehrlich & Epstein, LLP.
You may be entitled to compensation for lost income, health-care expenses and other damages. Call 212-221-5999 today to discuss your legal rights with a New York City personal-injury lawyer. You can also visit USAttorneys.com to learn more about injury claims.
Here are the truths behind five seatbelt myths:
Myth 1: Your chances of survival increase if ejected from the vehicle.
Your risk of injuries and death increase dramatically if you are eject from the vehicle. Not only could you impact the pavement, but you also might fall into oncoming traffic.
Myth 2: Seatbelts are uncomfortable and restrictive.
The truth is that wearing a seatbelt correctly should improve your comfort. If you feel restrained, try adjusting the belt so it is not twisted, the lap belt fits snugly over your pelvis, and the shoulder belt does not scratch you neck.
Myth 3: Whether or not you wear a seatbelt has no effect on other people.
This is a common misconception, but your decision to wear a seatbelt can certainly affect others. A seatbelt will put you in the ideal position to react to unexpected hazards, thus reducing the likelihood of crashing. Also, if you are in an accident and not wearing a seatbelt, you could become a projectile within the vehicle and injure other occupants.
Myth 4: Large SUVs and trucks are strong enough to protect occupants who do not wear seatbelts.
It is true that large vehicles are safer in accidents, but a high-impact collision can still be deadly – especially if you are not wearing a seatbelt. Your body will continue moving forward at the speed of the vehicle, and it doesn’t take much force to knock your head against the side window, steering wheel or dashboard.
Myth 5: Lap belts are just as effective as lap-and-shoulder belts.
Lap belts are better than nothing, but they only secure the pelvis. If the wreck forces your upper body forward, then your vertebrae may overstretch. Also, without the shoulder belt, your head is more likely to impact a blunt object.
If you were injured in a crash that another driver caused, contact Antin, Ehrlich & Epstein, LLP. An accident attorney in New York City can evaluate your case, gather evidence and help you pursue the highest possible settlement. Schedule a free initial consultation today by calling 212-221-5999.