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Seat belts proven to save lives

We hear it over and over. “If only he (or she) had worn a seat belt, that person would be here now.”

Every time we hear of someone ejected from a vehicle during an accident, it causes us to wonder if that individual had buckled up.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, about 40,000 people nationwide die in vehicle accidents and 63 percent of them did not wear seat belts.

Fact: Seat belts save lives.

Here’s how. When a vehicle traveling at a certain rate of speed is stopped by something in its way, the vehicle stops in the initial tenth of a second, but the body continues to travel at the same rate until something stops it. If someone is not wearing a seat belt, the steering wheel, dash or windshield will stop that person.

A seat belt will stop the second collision — that of the body with some other object.

Just running down to the store?

Put the seat belt on. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says 80 percent of all vehicle accidents occur within 25 miles of home and at speeds under 40 mph.

Oh, and don’t bet on the air bag. Air bags were not designed to take the place of seat belts, but to enhance the safety features of vehicles when people inside them have properly engaged their seat belts. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration points out that air bags increase the safety of seat belts by 40 percent.

So, next time you get into a vehicle, get comfortable and click that seat belt into place properly.

Your life could very well depend on that simple action.