- submitted by Ann Healey
Safety belts save thousands of lives if they are worn correctly, according to the Automotive Occupant Restraints Council in Lexington, Kentucky. Ready to buckle up better?
- Arrange the shoulder portion so that it goes over your shoulder and across your chest. These parts of the body are best able to handle restraining forces.
- Don't slip the shoulder belt under your arm or behind your back. This places the belt over your ribs, which may break from the impact of a crash and cause serious internal injuries.
- Adjust the lap portion of the belt so it lies low and snug across your pelvic bone, just touching the upper thighs. Don't let it creep upward across your abdomen. In a crash, a belt can exert 20 times your body weight on internal organs.
- Flatten out any twists in the belt. In a crash, the full width of the belt helps disperse the force of impact.
- Replace safety belts after an accident that's severe enough to cause bruising. The belts may have been damaged and lose some of their ability to restrain you effectively.
REMEMBER: A slack shoulder harness raises your risk of head injury by 81%.
The typical head injury victim is a young male between the ages of 16 and 24 who is injured in a vehicular accident.
The only cure for head injury is prevention!
Data from the National Head Injury Foundation
Revised: Saturday, February 23, 2002 08:42 AM