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Reasons to Buckle Up

​This Tailgate Talk is part of the NLTAPA collection.

Vehicle accidents are the number one cause of occupational deaths. Many factors contribute to these accidents. Recent studies have revealed that driver failure is the primary factor in 85% of all fatality accidents. Vehicle failure is the primary factor in the remaining 15%.

Driver training and vehicle maintenance would appear to be the most critical elements in any organization's vehicle accident prevention program. In many collision accidents, the use of a seat belt may have prevented a death from occurring.

Here are just a few reasons why drivers should always wear their seat belt:

1) No matter how safe you are driving, you never know about the other driver. You could be struck by another vehicle without warning. It is best to drive "defensively" at all times by looking out for the other driver.

2) Seat belts hold you in your seat and reduce the chances of colliding with the windshield, dashboard, steering wheel, ceiling, doors, windows, or other passengers. Don't fool yourself by thinking you are strong enough and quick enough to brace yourself and avoid being thrown about. Research studies have shown that attempting to brace yourself is rarely successful.

3) If you are in a collision, it could be essential for you to remain at the controls in order to continue with braking or to turn the steering wheel and avoid serious situations such as striking a power pole.

4) If you are thrown from the vehicle, your chance for serious injury increases and your chance for survival will diminish. You could be run over by your own vehicle or by another vehicle. Your body could hit a tree, guardrail, sign, barricade, or other stationary object.

5) We've all heard the common excuses for not wearing seat belts. . . they're uncomfortable, I want to be able to move quickly, I was injured in one wreck while wearing a seat belt, etc. The fact of the matter is: NOBODY HAS FOUND A GOOD EXCUSE FOR NOT WEARING A SEAT BELT! As the driver of the vehicle, you must take the lead role by requiring any passengers to use their belts also. Approved car seats for children are a must too.

Putting on your seat belt should become a routine every time you enter the vehicle. The driver should do it with the same consistency as turning the key in the ignition and releasing the parking brake. Are you willing to take the risks associated with failure to wear your seat belt?

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