Seat Belt Safety

seat beltEvery time you get into a car it is important to wear your seat belt. Not only because it is the law, but because it could help prevent injuries and potentially save your life.  Each year thousands of lives are saved by seat belts.  According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2013, an estimated 12,584 lives among passengers age 5 and older were saved in the United States.  Of this estimate, 750 lives were saved in Florida by the use of seat belts.  An additional 2,800 lives, including 179 in Florida, could have been saved with proper seat belt use.

In order for seat belts to provide maximum safety, proper use and fit is necessary. Proper use of your seat belt can help make the difference in the event of an accident.

In order to maximize safety here are a few do’s and don’ts for seat belt use:

Don’t forget to put on your seat belt
Do wear your seat belt at all times and make sure all passengers do as well

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 87% of vehicle occupants nationwide wear their seat belts.  In the state of Florida the estimate is 88.8%.  While these percentages have slowly risen from previous years,  they suggest that many people are still going without a seat belt.

Don’t place the shoulder belt behind your back or under your arm
Do place the shoulder belt across your chest

Don’t place the lap belt across your stomach
Do place the lap belt low on the hips

Both the shoulder belt and the lap belt are necessary for sufficient restraint. Using one without the other does not allow for satisfactory performance of the seat belt.  Proper positioning of the seat belt is also essential for the prevention of internal injuries.  The shoulder belt across your chest and the lap belt across your lower hips allows the force of collision to be spread over the body’s strongest areas, which helps to minimize possible injuries.

Don’t wear your seat belt loosely
Do make sure your belt fits closely to your body

Ensuring that your seat belt is close to the body is also important.  If your belt is too loose you are not restrained correctly and may sustain injuries from the belt itself in the event of an accident.

So remember always wear your seat belt close to your body with the shoulder belt across your chest and the lap belt low on the hips.  With improper use of the seat belt you are increasing the likelihood of injuries to the spine, abdomen, lower back, and the neck.  By following these do’s and don’ts for proper seat belt use, you are taking the necessary steps to lessen the potential of seat belt related injuries in the event of an accident.

If you have pain resulting from a seat belt related injury due to an accident, please visit us or contact us at for a free consultation.