Safe Driving Tips

  • The Physics of Seat Belt Safety

    by Patrick M.

    As you put on your seatbelt, do you ever stop to think how important it actually is? Many drivers do not realize the importance of seat belts, or how much safer it is to wear one. Forty thousand people die each year in car accidents. This is one good reason that you should buckle up.

    When your vehicle collides with another automobile or object, the vehicle comes to a stop. However, your body continues to move in the same speed and direction. This is due to inertia. Newton’s first law of motion states, “An object at rest tends to stay at rest and an object in motion tends to stay in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.” The unbalanced force which stops your body from being tossed around inside your vehicle or propelled through the windshield is the seatbelt. It is also important to make sure you wear your seatbelt correctly. Incorrect usage of a seat belt can reduce your safety.

    Now let’s take a look at the consequences of not wearing a seatbelt. Drivers who get in a car accident without wearing their seatbelt are thrown two ways, up or down. When a driver is thrown up their head will hit the windshield, causing brain bleeding and skull and spine damage. If they go through the windshield, they are colliding with the ground or other objects at the same speed at which they crashed. If you are thrown down, your legs will be crushed as your femurs and knees collapse. Often the victim’s chest can hit the dashboard or steering wheel resulting in cracked sternums, broken ribs, and ruptured organs. To make many words in a few, not wearing you seatbelt can result in life changing injuries and most often death.

    After hearing these facts, do the consequences really outweigh the two seconds it takes you to buckle up. Wearing your seatbelt can and will save your life in the event of a crash. You should also make sure that all passengers riding in your vehicle are buckled up in order to ensure safety for everyone. So remember to buckle up; not only is it the law, it can save your life.

    Works Cited

    Henderson, Tom. "Inertia and Mass." 02 Apr. 2009 .

    "Making Light: Seatbelts Save Lives." Patrick & Teresa Nielsen Hayden. 14 Apr. 2007. 02 Apr. 2009 .

    "Seat Belts: Why You Should Use Them." Oklahoma State University - Environmental Health & Safety - Home. 02 Apr. 2009

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