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Seat belts reduce your risk of injury in crashes in Iowa

If you've suffered a personal injury in a car accident when you were wearing a seat belt, you may be one of the people who understand why seat belt laws are so important. Because of a seat belt, you weren't thrown from your vehicle, and the impact to your body was lessened. Seat belts do save lives, and here are a few statistics that show how.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, over 15,000 lives are saved every year thanks to drivers and passengers wearing their seat belts in the United States. This stunning number could grow if more people wore their seat belts; knowing how the belts work may be one way to convince them.

Seat belts work to prevent injury in five different ways. First of all, the belts keep the occupants inside the vehicle. You won't be thrown from your vehicle, and you'll be prevented from hitting your head on the windshield or being thrown across the car. People who are thrown from vehicles are four times more likely to die from the crash, making seat belt use important in these cases.

Seat belts also restrain the body and spread out the force of the impact. This puts stress from the impact not only on your lap with a lap belt, but also across the waist, chest and shoulder with your shoulder strap. The seat belts work to slow your body down, helping to prevent injuries like whiplash or concussions, and they also prevent brain and spinal cord injuries. How? You're less likely to hit your head or whip your neck when you're strapped in.

Source: Everyday Health, "Seat Belts: How They Save Lives" accessed Feb. 09, 2015

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