Fastening the seatbelt behind your back? Strapping it on only for the policeman to see and then quickly unbuckling it? There is no point in wearing the seatbelt since it’s just a 10-minute drive? – Do these “valid” reasons ring any bells? Does it sound very familiar because we, as a society, are too used to doing this?
For a section of the population, wearing a seatbelt in a car has somehow transformed into a choice- somehow it is not a necessity but an option you can happily choose to opt-out of. But is it really a choice? In today’s fast-paced and dynamic world, the importance of wearing seatbelts is often overlooked. Seatbelt safety despite its relevance is often pushed to the sidelines. With the rise in accidents and the subsequent mortality rate, now is the high time to reinstate and re-emphasize the importance of wearing seatbelts for passengers and drivers alike.
The design of the ‘three-point’ or ‘Y-shaped’ seatbelts currently in use all across the world was not a fashion statement but a strategically devised safety armour that has the capacity to disperse the energy of the moving body over the chest, pelvis, and shoulders in the event of a collision. The seatbelt is for everybody – from drivers to passengers and from front-seat travelers to back-seat travelers.
There exists substantial data to support this argument. Reports have revealed that 75% of Road Traffic Accidents could have been averted if the drivers/passengers were wearing seatbelts. Statistics prove that fastening the seatbelts potentially increases the chances of survival and reduces the risk of accidents to only minor injuries for both front and back seat passengers by 44% and 73% respectively. In India, the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has rolled out data for 2016-2020 for deaths associated with ‘non-wearing of seatbelts’ which presents a staggering number of 5500- 26896.
While on the surface it might not look so, but the importance of wearing seatbelts is not just one but many. In the following section, the blog will attempt to encapsulate some major points as to why wearing seatbelts is always a must.
- Safety From Accidents – When everyone present in the car, in both front and rear seats, buckle up, the chances of becoming victims of an accident drastically reduces. The seatbelts ensure that the people are thrown out of the vehicle or across the dashboard. In case of an accident, seatbelts will reduce the risk of you getting a serious injury by 50%. The impact of the crash is evenly distributed if you are wearing a seatbelt, thereby removing focus from any one region. Being both a smart choice and the right thing to do, seatbelts protect your ribs, spine, and skull along with internal organs such as the lungs and brain. Wearing a seatbelt might be the difference between you escaping a head-on crash with a minor scratch and ending up in a wheelchair, unable to walk.
- Safety of Others – When you wear a seatbelt, you also guarantee the safety of others in the vehicle. WHO has revealed that when backseat passengers also wear seatbelts, the risk of injury or death for front-seat passengers also decreases. Seatbelt safety, therefore, ensures optimum protection of all. In cases of front-seat passenger/driver wearing seatbelts while rear passengers abstain from the same would imply that at the off-chance of a clash, the rear passenger will be evicted from his/her seat and move forward at high speed and at full force to clash with the front seat passengers along with the interior of the vehicle.
- Effective Working of Airbags – An airbag is another piece of equipment that is designed to deliver safety to the riders of a vehicle. At times, many people remain under the misconception that airbags can be a good replacement for seatbelts. That, however, is very far from the truth. In reality, airbags are supplementary, establishing the importance of seatbelts. In some cars, without fastened seatbelts, airbags do not even deploy as there are pre-installed sensors to activate said airbags. Without seatbelts, airbags can be rendered ineffective.
- Monetary Perspective – Insurance companies also prefer clients’ wearing seatbelts. If you are buckled in while you get into an accident, you will be protected by your insurance. However, the same cannot be said if you are caught in an accident without being belted. Wearing a seatbelt by all at all times in the vehicle will also not invite a fine from any traffic police as the wearing of seatbelts is a law in many countries and breaking it attracts a fine.
Road Accidents in general, are a major cause of concern. If fastening our seatbelts becomes our second nature, it will be a step in the right direction to creating safer roads for everyone. With vehicle accidents claiming so many lives, individuals, communities, and companies alike, should undertake necessary measures to contribute towards curbing it. While individuals should proactively adhere to road safety rules, companies can do their part to reduce road accidents by using gamification, training, technology etc. to ensure that proper driving behaviours such as the usage of seatbelts are followed by their employees. Safer roads would automatically translate to thousands of lives saved.
The importance of wearing seatbelts must be acknowledged and professed while myths like seatbelts causing minor scratches or not being required for short commutes among others, must be dispelled. It is high time to forgo any qualms or reservations related to seatbelt safety for the well-being of everybody.
Join SafetyConnect’s #SeatbeltForSafety Campaign and make a pledge to always wear a seatbelt and encourage others to do the same.
SafetyConnect is an AI application that believes in the power of safety. The aim of the company is to foster a safe driving environment for field-force employees and reduce the instances of road accidents. Book a demo today to get on the fast-track route to road safety.