Busted: 3 Dangerous Myths About Seat Belts

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Driving in a vehicle is inherently dangerous: you’re sitting behind the wheel of a two-ton hunk of metal that routinely travels up to 70 miles per hour. One of the main defenses against the devastation a crash can cause (besides employing the skills you learned in defensive driving school, or basic traffic lessons) is that woven strap of webbed polyester that crosses your body.


Your seat belt may not look like much, but it can mean the difference between a fender bender and a hospital visit. Let’s take a look at some of the myths that perpetuate lackadaisical seat belt use — and why they’re dead wrong.


  1. Seat belts can trap you inside a car. It takes less than a second to take off a seat belt, making this myth most likely one that originated in Hollywood. Movie and television scenes frequently show people stuck when their cars are on fire or are sinking in water, but a seat belt is always worth wearing because it can protect you from being knocked unconscious — which is far more dangerous.
  2. Seat belts aren’t needed if you’re simply driving around town. Around 50% of all traffic deaths happen within 25 miles of the home. There is no “safe zone” when it comes to seat belt safety: if you’re in a car that’s moving, they should be on. Remember that the wheel and speed only gives you an illusion of being in control: accidents can happen at any time, anywhere.
  3. Some people are thrown clear in a collision and walk away fine. One fluke example that you heard of on TV or in a movie is not enough to bet your life on. In fact, your chances of surviving a collision increase five-fold if you stay inside the car, which a seat belt guarantees. Trust the facts, not some one-off story.


Only 65% of teens consistently wear their seat belts as both a driver and a passenger; the truth shown above reveals how incredibly dangerous that statistic is. One of the best (and easiest) ways to teach your children the importance of seat belt safety is to enroll them in driving classes. Driver’s education is offered all across the country. Driving classes could save your child’s life — don’t take that risk.

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