Real Risks and Injuries Associated with the Use of Seat Belts

The laws of the land insist that you should wear your seat belt. A seat belt can save your life in a motor vehicle accident. Nevertheless, a commercial truck accident attorney or lawyer can attest that it is possible to come out with a whiplash injury from wearing one.

What are the risks associated with seat belt use?

Harnesses and restraints

The three-point harness you are familiar with came into being in 1973. Since then, this type of safety harness has protected innumerable drivers and passengers. The shoulder, chest, and abdominal area are areas of the body in contact with the three-point harness.

When wearing this type of restraint, the passenger or driver is held to the seat and kept from being ejected from the vehicle. In the event of a collision or high-speed accident, the three-point harness can protect the wearer from severe injury as well.

Seat belt injuries

Seat belt legislation has been introduced in many countries since the 1970s. Comparative studies of motor vehicle accidents share similar positive results in that seat belts have reduced figures of casualties. In general, there is a 30-35 percent reduction in fatality rates when seat belts are worn.

Also, the mandatory law of wearing a seat belt in the US has also reduced the seriousness of injuries incurred in a road mishap.

Neck injuries from seat belt usage

The motor industry has invested millions of dollars in the effort to reduce injuries associated with seat belt use. The most common associated injury from wearing a seat belt is whiplash. This type of neck injury arises from the high-level forces produced when a car decelerates from high speed.

Evidently, the injury results from transmission of forces from the restraint itself to the passenger. As the seat belt restrains the part of the body directly under its protection, the areas below and above the harnesses continue on their forward or backward translation at speed.

Aside from whiplash injury, certain parts of the body are vulnerable because the harness transmits physical force to them. These are the chest wall, the superior aspect of the hip, and the clavicle or collar bone. The soft tissue areas at risk for injury are the soft areas of the front part of the neck and the contents of the abdomen.

The seat belt sign

Hand fastening seatbelt

In 1962, the seat belt sign was described as injuries to the abdominal viscera and overlying musculature due to the transmission of physical force by a seat belt. The internal injuries may be confined to the abdominal mesentery, the intestines, and in some cases the lumbar spine.

This part of the spine may be fractured when intense forces are involved. More severe internal damage could injure the spleen, liver, pancreas, and kidneys. On the upper part of the body, the sternal bone, the ribs, and the thoracic spine may incur fractures.

Vascular injuries to the neck may be part of the outcome as well.

There is an injury profile know as the seat belt syndrome, which describes actual injuries caused by the use of seat belts. These injuries can range from mild to severe. Nevertheless, you must consider the enormous benefit of seat belts in decreasing mortality and severity of injuries in traffic accidents.

Abide by traffic laws, and choose to wear a seat belt every time you take a ride in a motor vehicle.

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