AlanTiroffDr. Rhonda LewisEnglish Composition 130112/29/2016
Vehicleoccupants are exposed to more crashes and injuries on a global scaledue to growing motorization. The severity of the injuries variesdepending on the conditions in which the accident occurred. Globally,millions of lives have been lost through tragic road accidents whileothers are left with permanent injuries. The possibility of sufferinghead injury increases in instances where the occupant is not wearinga seat belt and gets involved in a frontal crash (Sadeghi,Shabaniverki, and Karimian 1). In lower the magnitude of injury,vehicle occupants have to ensure that their vehicles are fitted withseat belts which are properly worn while driving.
Seatbelts prevent the vehicle occupants from being ejected from the carif they are involved in a crash. As a result of inertia, those whodid not have their seat belts on will move at the speed of thevehicle before the crash. They will be thrown forward crashingagainst the body of the car, probably onto the steering or the rearend of the front seats in case they were driving or sitting on thepassenger seat respectively (Hu and Blower 19). The occupants mayalso be thrown out of the vehicle, thus increasing the chances ofincurring fatal injuries or to the worst extent end up dying.Therefore, prevention of ejection can only be attained through theuse of seat belts which significantly lowers the number of thosekilled as a result of not being restrained within the vehicle.
Thenon-utilization of seat belts has led to increased costs of insuranceand healthcare. The average amount of money used in treating anunrestrained accident victim is significantly higher when compared tothat used on a belted victim. The rates at which vehicle occupantswear seat belts can only be increased through the establishment ofstricter laws which necessitate for mandatory use. This can becomplemented through the implementation of public education programs.Maintenance and inspection of motor vehicles should be compulsory,and these can only be realized through the combined effort of variousstakeholders. Furthermore, roads should be improved to reduce thecarnage.
Motorvehicles have been fitted with additional numerous safety components,for instance, the airbags. However, the effectiveness of the airbagsis reduced in cases where the occupant is not using a seat belt. Thepossibility of being thrown out is high. Additionally, the airbag mayfail to protect the occupant who is unbelted given that the impact ofa crash will throw them in an opposite direction (Hu and Blower 21).The appropriate driving posture is lost for unbelted drivers hencethe higher probabilities of fatalities. Currently, modern vehiclesare fitted with detection systems that automatically produce a signalwhen an occupant fails to buckle his/her seat belts. This contributesto the broader aspect of public education on the importance ofwearing seat belts. Most people have complained about thecomfortability of wearing seat belts, for instance, chafing of theoccupants’ neck. Such complaints have been overcome through theintroduction of softer patches put on the belt to lower thediscomfort.
Inconclusion, it is evident that lives can only be saved through theappropriate use of seat belts. Injuries are drastically reduced ascompared to crashes involving unrestrained vehicle occupants. Thedeaths of front seat occupants could be significantly reduced throughthe appropriate utilization of seat belts. The proportion of deathsin high, low and middle-income countries is significantly high amongmotor vehicle users involved in accidents. Hence, the enforcement ofusing seat belts is the only remedy to avert further deaths andinjuries.
Hu,Jingwen, and Daniel Blower. "Estimation of Seatbelt andFrontal-Airbag Effectiveness in Trucks: US and ChinesePerspectives." AnnArbor, Michigan, UMTRI (2013).
Sadeghi,Akbar Shahidi, Hesam Shabaniverki, and Roshanak Karimian. "LessUse of Seat-belts among Drivers and Passengers in inter-urban routesthan suburban routes, Causes and Effects." Journalof Geotechnical and Transportation Engineering 1.1(2015): 1.