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The reason why wearing a seatbelt is important is because seatbelts are designed to protect, it is the law and statistics prove that wearing a seatbelt is safer than not wearing one at all, and wearing a seatbelt will save a person money on medical bills and related costs due to an accident. Seatbelts are designed to protect drivers and all passengers. A three-point harnessed seatbelt will protect vital internal organs and bones. While properly wearing a seatbelt a person is protecting their ribs, spine, neck and skull.

Along with those bones, a person is protecting organs such as their heart and brain. A seatbelt will also protect a person from whiplash. Injuries due to a person not wearing a seatbelt include abdominal injuries (if worn too high), skin abrasions and injuries to the carotid artery, throat and cervical spine. Injuries to the chest, shoulders and ribs are at high risk if not properly wearing a seatbelt. Seatbelts are important when it comes to the law. Although laws on seatbelts vary from state to state, the state of Washington stated that all occupants of a driving vehicle must be properly restrained.

The driver is also responsible for making sure any passenger under the age of 16 are properly restrained in all seating positions. Failing to do so will lead to a $124. 00 safety violation fine, no matter what age or where the person is located in the vehicle. Half of the United States charge a $25. 00 violation fee as of May 2010. Statistics prove that wearing a seatbelt is safer than not wearing one at all. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, occupants of a vehicle have a 50% increase of fatal injuries if no seatbelt is worn.

Due to car accidents, on average there are 40,000 deaths each year. Of the deaths in children due to not wearing a seatbelt 80% of them could have been avoided by properly restraining the child with a seatbelt. Out of the thousands of people killed each year because of car accidents, 63% of them were not wearing a seatbelt. This with no doubt proves that failure to wear a seatbelt leads to more deaths than any other single safety violation. In 2006, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration eported that 15,383 people were saved from fatal injuries becuase of wearing a seatbelt. They also reported in 2008 that 13,250 people with ages ranging from 5 and older were saved by properly wearing a seatbelt. In ages 4 and younger, there were 244 saved lives. They believe that with compliance to seatbelt laws 4,152 lives could have been saved in the same year. The Center of Disease Control and Prevention stated that not only does wearing a seatbelt protect yourself, but also passengers and children.

By wearing a seatbelt passengers and children are encouraged to wear seatbelts and are more likely to wear a seatbelt. Medical bills due to an accident from not wearing a seatbelt are increased by 50%. Wearing a seatbelt could have saved more than $585 billion in medical care and related costs since 1975, which was stated by the Highway Traffic Safety Administration. That is why it is important to wear a seatbelt while operating a vehicle. Spc. Cooper, Cody B



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