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Seat Belt Safety Guide

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 6,400 adults are injured in car accidents every day. In fact, car crashes are the No. 1 leading cause of death in people ages 5 to 24 and the No. 2 cause of death for all other age groups. Motor vehicle accidents can be caused by a number of factors, including poor weather conditions and distracted or inexperienced driving. The roadways' unpredictable nature is why states are cracking down on vehicle safety. Not only is car insurance usually required by law, but according to the National Safety Council, 49 states have mandated that drivers wear seat belts while on the road. Seat belts not only save you from a ticket, but they can also save your life. Use this guide to better understand seat belt safety.

Prevent serious injury or death

You might be a safe driver, but you have no control over other people. By wearing a seat belt, you can reduce your risk of serious injury or death by about 50 percent. Your life is nothing to gamble on, so make sure you always have the odds stacked in your favor. Simply buckling up when you enter your car will help prevent you from being thrown out of it, a situation that almost always leads to death. Also, don't depend solely on your car's airbags to keep you safe. While airbags have saved 25,783 lives in a 20-year span according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, they are only effective when used with a seat belt.

How to wear it

A seat belt protects best when you are wearing it properly. When buckling up, make sure the belt stretches across the middle of your chest and not your neck. This will prevent an obstruction of your airways. While it might be comfortable to put the strap under your arm or behind your back, the NHTSA strongly advises against it. Place the lap belt across your hips. Make sure the belt is positioned under your stomach to minimize the chances of hurting vital organs.

Testing out a new car should include an evaluation of the seat belt. Car buyers should make sure that it fits properly. If it doesn't, ask your car dealer about seat belt adjusters and extenders. Additionally, if you have an older model car with lap belts only, consider speaking to your vehicle's manufacturer about installing something safer with a shoulder strap.

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