Safety Tip of the Week: Seat belts save lives

This week, Wendy Couture, the district’s safety and risk reduction manager, shares information about how seat belts save lives.

Do you snap in your seat belt as soon as you get in a vehicle?

It’s been proven time and again that a seat belt can and will save a life in an accident. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 15,000 lives are saved each year in the United States because drivers and their passengers were wearing seat belts when they were in accidents.

Seat Belt Safety: 5-Way Protection

  • Keeps the occupants of the vehicle inside. People thrown from a vehicle are four times more likely to be killed than those who remain inside.
  • Restrains the strongest parts of the body. Restraints are designed to contact your body at the strongest parts. For an older child and adult, these parts are the hips and shoulders.
  • Spreads out force from the collision. Lap-and-shoulder belts spread the force of the crash over a wide area of the body putting less stress on any one single area.  A shoulder strap also helps keep your head and upper body away from the dashboard, steering wheel, and other hard interior parts of the automobile if you stop suddenly or on impact.
  • Helps the body slow down. The quick change in speed is what causes injury and seat belts help extend the time it takes for your body to slow down.
  • Protects your brain and spinal cord. A seat belt is designed to protect these two critical areas.

Seat Belt Safety: Buckle Up Correctly

  1. Adjusting your seat belt properly is important: The strap that goes across your lap should fit snugly over your hips and upper thigh area.
  2. Shoulder belts should rest securely across your chest and shoulders. Don’t let the strap fall across your neck or face and never place the strap under your arms or behind your back as this may cause serious injury.

Wearing a seat belt when you are driving a district vehicle is important not only for your personal safety. If a driver is in a van with students and everyone including the students are wearing their seat belts, in the event of an accident there is a reduced liability to the district. Wearing a seat belt is a critical preventative measure.