Here's why it's so important to wear your seat belt

Wearing a seat belt could save your life in a car crash, yet many people still don't follow the law. Kentucky has had mandatory seat belt laws since 2006, making it illegal, the majority of the time, to drive without one.

The reality is that seat belts are very important to your safety in a crash. They make a huge impact on your ability to survive crashes of varied speeds. Here are some quick facts about seat belts to know.

  • In 2015, 35,092 people were killed in traffic accidents. Of them, 48 percent weren't wearing seat belts at the time of the crashes.
  • Seat belts saved an estimated 13,941 people in 2015.
  • Seat belt usage in the United States is approximately 90.1 percent. However, the 9.9 percent of people who don't use them make up around 48 percent of casualties that result from traffic crashes.

If these statistics aren't enough to convince you to wear your seat belt, consider what a seat belt actually does. When you're in a car, your body is traveling at the same speed at which the car is moving. If it's going 55 mph, you are, too. The seat belt holds you in place, so that you slow down with the vehicle and speed up with the vehicle.

The seat belt also holds you in place when you get into a crash. Car crashes stop your vehicle, but they don't stop your body from moving forward. Without the belt, you're likely to be thrown into the windshield or dashboard. You could end up being thrown through the glass and onto the roadway.

Vehicles today use a three-point safety belt. The three-point belt has a sash belt and lap belt. When worn properly, the two belts help distribute the force of the crash, so that no single part of your body absorbs all of the impact. The belts are designed to move the force of the impact into the areas of your body where you're most durable, like the pelvis and shoulder. This helps prevent sensitive areas of the body, like the abdomen, from being impacted.

If you're in a crash and aren't wearing your belt, you could be partially at fault for any injuries you suffer. That doesn't mean you can't claim for your injuries, though. It's important to file your claim as soon as you can and to discuss your options with those educated in crash laws.

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