Seat Belt Safety: 5-Way Protection
by Calvin Trent

Seat belts protect people in the car from serious injury in five ways:

1) They keep the occupants of the vehicle inside. Itís false that people are better off being thrown clear from the crash. People thrown from a vehicle are four times more likely to be killed than those who remain inside.

2) They restrain the strongest parts of the body. Restraints are designed to contact your body at its strongest parts. For an older child and adult, these parts are the hips and shoulders, which is where the seat belt should be strapped.

3) They spread out the force from the collision. Lap-and-shoulder belts spread the force of the crash over a wide area of the body. By putting less stress on any one area, they can help you avoid serious injury. A shoulder strap also helps keep your head and upper body away from the dashboard, steering wheel, and other hard interior parts of your car.

4) They help the body to slow down. Seat belts help extend the time it takes for you to slow down in a crash. The fast stop is dangerous, even without hitting anything.

5) Lastly, they protect your brain and spinal cord. A seat belt is designed to protect these two critical areas. Head injuries and spinal cord injuries can have serious consequences.

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