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Three fourths of all fatal traffic accidents occur within 25 miles of the driver's home and 30% occur at speeds under 40 mph.

In every car accident, there are at least two collisions.

One occurs when the vehicle hits another object. The second occurs when unbelted occupants hit the vehicle's interior. Just after an accident, even though the vehicle has stopped, occupants continue to travel forward.

Trip-ups: Seat Belt Myths
Every year thousands of North Americans die from auto accidents. Many of these deaths could have been prevented by the use of seat belt restraints. Seat belt restraints help to reduce injuries in two ways by:

 Securing the occupant within the vehicle
 Reducing the severity of the body's collision with the vehicle or airbag.
Please buckle up! Unfortunately, recent surveys have shown that only 67% of drivers wear safety belts. A common belief is that seat belts are useful for highway driving but not necessary when driving around town. The fact is, three fourths of all fatal traffic accidents occur within 25 miles of the victim's home and 30% occur at speeds of 40MPH or less. They usually involve head, neck and chest injuries. Many drivers are unaware that failing to buckle up or improperly restraining yourself or a child can be a serious mistake or even fatal.

The following information highlights examples of safety precautions you can consider to protect yourself, your family, and your property. This list is not meant to be all-encompassing. Moreover, a particular precaution may not be effective or appropriate in all circumstances. We encourage you to use your own good judgement about what's appropriate.

Seat belt safety sense

 Seat belts must fit properly and snugly to be effective. Wear the lap belt low and over the hips. Wear the shoulder belt across the collarbone and loose enough to allow an inch or two between the chest and the belt.
 When wearing a heavy coat, the lap belt should be placed under the coat or with long coats, open it up so that the belt fits snugly over the hips.
 If your vehicle is involved in an accident, have your seat belts checked to ensure that they are able to handle stress in the event of another collision.

All rights reserved. This article includes copyrighted material used with permission from "Safety Sense on the Road", written by Heward Grafftey and Richard A. McInenly, Ph.D, copyright © 1990 Safety Sense Enterprises, Inc., Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.


Related links:
  Seat Belt Myths
  Passenger Safety
  In Case of an Accident
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