How Safe are Seatbelts?

We all know that seat belts save lives. We read stories about people suffering serious, even fatal injuries that could have been prevented by seat belt use. Students in schools across the nation watch demonstrations about how seat belts protect people. Even though we know the facts and Louisiana state law requires vehicle occupants to be belted in for their own safety, some people are not heeding the message.

According to 7 KPLC, in the first 11 months of last year, Louisiana State Troopers wrote 6,632 seat belt tickets in the Troop D area alone. In December 2010, eight car accidents resulted in nine deaths. In these collisions, five of the vehicle occupants were not buckled up. Could these deaths have been avoided with the use of seat belts? While no one can say for sure, it has been proven time and time again that seatbelts undoubtedly save lives.

Seat belts protect people in a number of ways. First, they keep people from being thrown out of a vehicle in a collision, where several fatal injuries often occur. Also, seat belts spread the force of impact across a wide portion of the body, decreasing the risk of injury to any one area. Further, they give the body a chance to slow down more, reducing the risk of injury, while protecting the brain and spinal cord.

No one would go as far as to say that a person who is unrestrained will automatically suffer serious or catastrophic injuries in a crash or that people who buckle up are invulnerable. However, facts clearly indicate that seat belts significantly increase your chances of surviving a serious accident.

To illustrate this fact, Louisiana state police are traveling across the state with a rollover simulator. The device consists of a truck cab that spins on a motorized arm, simulating a rollover at 30 miles per hour. The hope is that people will watch the demonstration, believe it, and choose to buckle up in the future. An experienced personal injury lawyer at knows the ins and outs of these issues.

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