Thursday, March 27, 2008

Proper Use of Seat Belts

* A properly worn seat belt greatly increases your chances of surviving a motor vehicle collision.
* No doubling up – only one person to a seat belt.
* A typical seat belt assembly consists of a lap and shoulder belt. The shoulder belt should be worn closely against the body and over the shoulder and across the chest, never under the arm. The lap belt should be firm against the body and low across the hips.
* Air bags do not take the place of a seat belt. When air bags activate during a motor vehicle collision, they reduce the forward movement of the upper torso and minimize impact. They do not prevent drivers and passengers from being thrown from the car.
When a seat belt is worn correctly, it will apply most of the collision or stopping forces across the chest and pelvis, which are better able to withstand collision forces. A seat belt should not be worn twisted, as the full width of the belt is required to spread motor vehicle collision forces across the body.
Wearing a seat belt loosely or placing the shoulder belt under the arm or behind your back instead of across the chest, could, in the case of a collision or sudden stop, result in an injury-producing impact with the vehicle interior, or ejection from the vehicle. Wearing a lap belt across the stomach, instead of low across the hips, allows collision forces to be applied to the soft tissue of the body, increasing the chance of injury.
Pregnant women must wear seat belts – wearing the lap and shoulder belt and sitting as upright as possible. The lap belt should be worn low so it pulls downward on the pelvic bones and not directly against the abdomen.

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