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.