Is it Safer Not to Wear the Seat Belt in Certain Circumstances?

No, it is not safer to not wear the seat belt because seat belts can prevent injury during impact, and thus increase your chances of remaining conscious and being able to escape your vehicle in case of danger. Seat belts are still the best way to ensure you are not severely hurt in case of an accident.

Seat belts are vital in preventing people from being ejected from the vehicle in a crash. They also prevent people from being thrown against other passengers, the steering wheel, or the windshield. But that doesn't always stop the drivers and passengers who find them uncomfortable to claim, crediting murky statistics or hearsay, that wearing a seat belt is often more dangerous in an accident than not wearing one. For example, what if your car goes underwater and your seat belt keeps you from getting to safety?

Well, we know that water submersion or fire following a crash is extremely rare. When they do occur, the greatest danger is the actual impact that precedes the fire or the sinking accident.

Seat belts prevent injury during impact and can keep you from winding up unconscious from the impact so that you can escape your vehicle. The much likelier cause of car fatalities is the force of impact or ejection from the vehicle, and those are the injuries that seat belts are so good at preventing. Getting ejected from a car in an accident drops your chances of surviving by three-quarters.

Why Is Wearing a Seat Belt Important?

When the seat belt is correctly worn, it may cause superficial bruises but it will seldom cause severe injuries. Studies have consistently shown that these are generally much less severe than would have been the case without a belt. According to the NHTSA, during the latest year of available data, almost 50.4% of people killed in automobile accidents in Florida were not wearing a seat belt.

Wearing your seat belt is required by the Florida safety belt law that applies to any car, pickup truck, and van operated on Florida roads and manufactured after 1968, and states the following:

  • All front-seat passengers must wear seat belts
  • All passengers under 18 years old must wear a seat belt or be restrained by a child's car seat

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