"I don't need a safety belt when I'm traveling at low speeds or going on a short trip."
You can't believe every story flying around these days. The truth is that ALL driving can be dangerous.
More than 80 per cent of all accidents occur at speeds less than 40 mph. Fatalities involving non-belted occupants of cars have been recorded at as low as 12 mph. That's about the speed you'd be driving in a parking lot.
Three out of four accidents causing death occur within 25 miles of home. Belt up before driving to your shopping center - just as you would for a long trip.
"When I have my lap belt fastened, I don't need to fasten my shoulder belt."
Don't be left with egg on your face --- or worse. It's true that a lap belt will protect you from serious injury. But a shoulder belt provides important additional protection. During a crash, a shoulder belt keeps your head and chest from striking the steering wheel, dashboard, and windshield.
A lap AND shoulder belt offers you the best possible protection in the event of a crash.
"I might be saved if I'm thrown clear of the car in an accident."
Rubbish! The fact is that your chances of being killed are almost 25 times greater if you're thrown from the car. The forces in a collision can be great enough to fling you as much as 150 feet --about 15 car lengths.
Safety belts can keep you from:
In almost any collision, you're better off being held inside the car by safety belts.
"If I wear a safety belt, I might be trapped in a burning or submerged car!"
Fiddlesticks! Less than one-half of 1 per cent of all injury-producing collisions involve fire or submersion. But if fire or submersion does occur, wearing a safety belt can save your life.
If you're involved in a crash without your safety belt, you might be stunned or knocked unconscious by striking the interior of the car. Then your chances of getting out of a burning or submerged car would be far less.
You're better off wearing a safety belt at all times in a car. With safety belts, you're more likely to be unhurt, alert and capable of escaping quickly.
"It takes too much time and trouble to fasten my safety belt."
Now there's a fairy tale that's an earful. In reality, fastening your safety belt may take some time and trouble -- but not too much.
It all depends on
"I'm uncomfortable and too confined when I wear a safety belt."
Belts are designed to allow you to reach necessary driving controls, and the newer shoulder belt retractors give you even more freedom. When reaching for things that will take you away from the steering wheel, it's safer to pull off the road or ask your passenger to help.
You'll probably find that any initial discomfort caused by safety belts soon goes away. Eventually, you may even feel MORE comfortable wearing safety belts.
So do all you can to live longer.
-Forget the fairy tales and BUCKLE UP.
It's More Than A Law.
It's A Lifesaver.
FACTOID: Unbelted occupants account for 84% of impaired driving fatalities in Oklahoma.
The Police Notebook, Copyright © 1997-2004,
Sponsor: OU Police Department — Developer: Richard M. Hamilton, OUPD