4 Important Reasons For Always Buckling Up

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Car Seat Belt Buckle

With October being Car Safety Month, a lot of attention is placed on motorists preparing their cars so that they don't find themselves in a dangerous situation. For instance, by getting the car tuned up, drivers are less likely to file car insurance claims after the car breaks down on the road, potentially causing an accident. Additionally, by preparing an emergency kit - one with first aid supplies, warm clothing and non-perishable foods - motorists equip themselves with essentials that they'll need if they're ever stranded.

One of the most crucial components of car safety is buckling up. In fact, in all 10 provinces, seatbelt use is required by law, with Ontario being the first province to pass the legislation, the other nine provinces following suit shortly thereafter.

 

Yet despite this requirement, many people still don't strap themselves in. According to data from the Government of Alberta Ministry of Transportation, more than one-third of the highway fatalities on the road this year were those in which the driver or passenger wasn't buckled up.

Besides the inherent risks and well-documented studies showing that seat belts save lives, the source assembled some facts that should encourage you to always buckle up - no matter how short your ride may be.

  1. Financial penalty. The costs of not wearing a seat belt can be substantial, specifically for Alberta residents. At $115, Alberta has one of the more expensive fines for failure to buckle up. And because drivers are responsible for the safety of passengers who are under the age of 16, it could be even more.

  2. Not wearing one increases safety risk of those who are. By just one passenger not putting on a seat belt, it raises the safety risk of every passenger in the car - even if everyone else is buckled up, according to Alberta Transportation. Because of this, the impact of a crash may cause that person to be thrown from the vehicle, hitting someone else who is either behind or in front of them.

  3. Booster seats make a difference. When children outgrow their safety seats, some parents may think it's fine to use the passenger seat itself. This is inadvisable, though, as according to analysis, a child is four times more likely to suffer a significant injury after an accident if they transition from a child seat to a regular one too quickly. As a general rule, keep them in a booster seat until they're taller than 4'9 or weigh more than 80 pounds.

  4. Without proper restraint, airbags are less effective.  Some may think that the airbag in a car serves as a sufficient line of defense against being injured after an accident, rendering the seat belt unnecessary. In fact, not only do airbags not work as well when motorists aren't buckled up, but they increase their risk for injury because of the speed with which airbags deploy.

Buckling up isn't just a matter of stretching the strap across your waist and clicking in. It needs to be positioned appropriately as well. For more information on this visit Alberta Transportation's website that's devoted to occupant restraints.