Is Your Seat Belt Working? Seat Belt Safety.

Seat belts safety is important. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration [NHTSA], seat belts and airbags together increase the likelihood of surviving a car accident by 60 percent and have prevented more than 1.5 million injures in the United States since 1982.

Unfortunately, the NHTSA reports that in 2008, 17 percent of Americans still weren’t wearing seat belts. As children, we are taught the importance of wearing a seat belt. However, many Americans still believe that seat belts are unnecessary for short trips.

Yet, according to the NHTSA, almost 75 percent of all traffic deaths and injuries occur within 25 miles of the victims homes at speeds less than 40 miles per house.This means that your short trip to the grocery store may be more risky that you think so you should think twice before you skip buckling up to run an errand.

Even if you wear your seat belt at all times, you may not realize that your seat belt must be positioned properly in order to be effective. Here are six tips to ensure you are fully protected by your seat belt:

1. Position the lap band low and snug across your hips. If you are pregnant, the lap band should never lie across your stomach.

2. Place the shoulder belt across your chest and collarbone. Never place the shoulder belt underneath your arm. If the shoulder portion of your belt rubs on your face or neck, consider moving the seat forward or backward.

3. The shoulder belt should rest snugly against your body. It should be no more than one inch from your body.

4. Sit up straight. Slouching is not only bad for your back, it also decreases the effectiveness of your seat belt, especially if your seat is reclined or if your back is away from the seat.

5. If your seat belt is too small, consider having an after market restraint system professionally installed or requesting an extender from your dealer or car manufacturer.

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