Since the lawful introduction of seat belts in South Africa the death toll in road accidents have lowered by 45%. A seat belt can reduce the risk of death in an accident and prevent occupants from being flung out. Buckling up takes 10 seconds to do and should be the first thought before moving your vehicle, for the driver and all passengers. Within South Africa it has been revealed that only 65% of road users and passengers make use of seat belts, it is most common that only front occupants would use the seat belt.
When thinking about seat belts the black webbed strap makes an uncomfortable impression, most users would try avoiding this discomfort by moving the top strap from crossing their shoulder to under the arm. This could result in improper functioning and protection causing harm during an accident. This is only one of the ways that seat belt misuse or lack of use can result in death or injury. Here are a few facts and tips on what not to do when in a moving vehicle with regards to buckling up:
- In most modern vehicle equipped with airbags the seat belt directly influences the trigger of an airbag during an accident. If the vehicle sensors do not detect the use of a seat belt the airbags will not deploy and this will be tragic to all occupants within the vehicle. The seat belt causes a restraint to prevent the occupants from crashing into the airbag.
- Always be sure to buckle up, use car chairs or harnesses for children. A child of about 20 kilograms will be propelled towards the first solid object at the weight of around 400 kilograms during a 50 kilometer an hour collision. Seat children under the age of 14 in the back seat of the vehicle as to prevent serious injury or death.
- Seat belts prevent 99% of vehicle occupants from being ejected from the vehicle, this will prevent the victim from being flung in front of other vehicles or the risk of getting trapped under an over turned car.
Always buckle up and be sure all your passengers know the importance of using a safety belt even when seated in the back. Proper maintenance and care of your vehicle and seat belts can mean the difference between life and death for you and your loved ones.
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