This post is to address a few points which come up regularly in training. Wearing your seatbelt and wearing it correctly will have a significant influence on whether you survive a motor vehicle collision or not.
About wearing it right
When worn correctly, i.e., over the collar bone away from the neck, the seatbelt may break the collar bone but cause no internal injury. A few key points;
- No slack.
- No twists.
- No obstructions.
- Head restraint is in the correct position.
Why these examples are dangerous
Under the Arm
The seatbelt may slice into a lung. There is no protective skeleton in the arm pit area.
Twists can result in sharp edges cutting into the torso, lap, etc.
Phone, pens, keys, resting under the seatbelt can be pushed into the body when the seatbelt pretensions and locks under inertia.
What about airbags and seatbelts?
Airbags supplement seatbelt protection – they do not substitute them.
Consider being in a collision that is powerful enough to set off the explosion which launches the air-bag; the body moves forward at the collision speed then forced back immediately by the explosive power of the air-bag. If a seat belt is NOT worn and the head restraint is NOT positioned correctly then the casualty WILL suffer a broken neck and death. Best case scenario!
So, wear your seatbelt and wear it correctly.