Due to an automobile accident involving well-known people in recent days, the issue of seat belts and its value in a passenger’s safety in a vehicle has come up for debate. Since I lack first-hand knowledge and am not commenting on any specific traffic accident, it would be inappropriate for me to do so. But during the course of my 25 years of professional practise, I have treated a lot of victims of traffic accidents and have come to understand how crucial a seat belt is to a passenger’s safety.
Numerous studies from all around the world that emphasise the value of passenger seat belts and how they can save lives can be found in medical literature. According to a Spanish study, up to 24% of fatalities in auto accidents were caused by passengers who were not buckled up. According to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report, up to 14,955 lives were saved in 2017 and up to 51% of those who died in a traffic accident in 2020 were not wearing seatbelts. Despite coming from a sophisticated nation, Indian roads and automobiles have grown significantly over the past 20 years in terms of power, speed, and luxury. Therefore, the idea that seatbelts save lives also has a lot of application for us.
Not only would wearing a seat belt save a passenger’s life, it will also prevent them from being flung from their seat or, in the event of a high-impact collision, out of the vehicle altogether, saving them from serious facial, head, spinal, and thoracic injuries. Wearing a seat belt can clearly cut fatalities and serious injuries by 50%, according to a Kahane study from 2015.
In my professional practise, I have treated a number of trauma patients who were unrestrained during a crash and received significant injuries. These patients were unfortunate road accident victims. Head, spinal, and facial injuries are painful and dangerous. Even if a whiplash injury to the spine may be difficult to prevent, individuals who wear seat belts can definitely lessen the severity of it.
The most crucial factor is that automobile manufacturers account for the cost of seat belts for each seat in a vehicle and install them appropriately in each seat.