Most of us don’t think twice about buckling our seat belts when we sit down in a car because it’s an ingrained part of the process. We buckle-up ourselves and we buckle-up our kids, but are we doing it right?
We’ve all laughed and rolled our eyes when flight attendants show us how to buckle a seat belt on a plane. It’s pretty basic stuff and it’s just as basic in a car, but how the straps rest against our bodies is more complicated. Wearing those belts incorrectly could be harmful.
All the testing that automakers do to make sure we’re safe hinges on us wearing our seat belts correctly. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that you are 71% less likely to die in an accident when wearing your seat belt. You’re also 64% less likely to be injured. Those numbers should be enough to convince anyone that proper seat belt usage is important.
It starts with wearing the whole seat belt, especially for kids. No tucking that shoulder strap behind them if it’s uncomfortable. Instead, let it rest between their neck and shoulder and try adjusting the seat to get it to a position that works for your child.
For both adults and kids, tucking it underneath an arm is another trick to keeping it out of the way. This is also dangerous. Again, adjust the seat or even use the height adjustment found on most seat belts and slide that shoulder belt up or down so that it rests between the neck and shoulder.
Pregnant women face their own set of challenges when they try to buckle their seat belt around their bellies. It’s not easy and it’s not comfortable, but it’s essential that the lap belt be properly placed to keep women and their babies safe.
The lap belt should not go across or over their stomach but underneath. This lets the lap belt hold the hips back rather than squishing against their stomachs. Everyone should wear that lap belt low across the thighs, but for pregnant women it’s even more important to make sure that belt doesn’t slide up.
One place you won’t find seat belts in most states is in school buses. This is a cause of concern for many parents and we’ll be tackling the topic on a twitter chat this coming Monday, August, 17th. We’ll also be giving away $25 Amazon gift cards to help with all that back-to-school shopping.
Watch this video to see exactly how you should be wearing your seat belt and don’t forget to join us next Monday for #BestRideChat on seat belts and school bus safety!