Do seatbelts save lives?

Discussion in 'Human Science' started by Asguard, Dec 4, 2008.

  1. Ophiolite Valued Senior Member

    I like that one. Of course a good driver will tap his breaks gently - enough to flash the brake lights, yet not slow the car measurably - in such a situation. But if we were all good drivers seat belts would rarely be needed.

    I'm amazed we are even having this discussion, but wish to thank Asguard for his detailed OP and for raising the subject. (Since I beleive Asguard to be a mindless dickhead I was pleasantly surprised by this socially responsible contribution.)
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  3. Steve100 O͓͍̯̬̯̙͈̟̥̳̩͒̆̿ͬ̑̀̓̿͋ͬ ̙̳ͅ ̫̪̳͔O Valued Senior Member

    That's a rather stupid thing to say.

    Acceleration causes force, so you can't just lay down a blanket statement like that.
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  5. madanthonywayne Morning in America Registered Senior Member

    I know the guy who came up with that idea. An optometrist from IU (Dr Allen).
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  7. CutsieMarie89 Zen Registered Senior Member

    Yes they do. At least all of the limos I've been in, which is a great amount considering I'm poor. The safest place to sit apparently is the seat farthest back as it has shoulder strapped seat belts, the rest of the seats only have lap belts.
  8. madanthonywayne Morning in America Registered Senior Member

    Well, I guess we were too drunk to even notice the seatbelts. We were actually on our way back from a KISS concert. Riding a limo is really the best way to go to a concert. Even being t-boned by the pickup, that trip still beat driving to the concert myself. And since there were six of us, it wasn't really that expensive.
  9. gr8 Registered Member

    Hi...this is an old thread, but I was 'googling' the effectiveness of seatbelts, and this popped up.

    Florida's Governor recently signed into law mandatory seatbelts. The feds agree to pay extra highway dollars to States that pass this type legislation, so revenue-strapped Florida has joined the band wagon.

    Stats quoted by legislators say seatbelts will save 140+ lives in Florida during the first year. I find it difficult to reconcile this number of saved lives with mandatory seatbelts...sorry. And where are the stats for all the lives lost when people WERE wearing seatbelts? News reports are so misleading...they give you, for example, the total fatalities (3), then the number of fatalities NOT wearing seatbelts (1), never mentioning how many fatalities WERE wearing seatbelts.

    I have relatives who would have been killed, had they been wearing seatbelts when involved in accidents. I also have a cousin whose breast cancer implant exploded because of her seatbelt when she was rear-ended going about 5 MPH in a parking lot. She survived breast cancer, but nearly died because of her seatbelt!

    Florida passed a motorcycle helmet law several years ago. For the life of me, I could not figure out how someone not wearing a helmet could be considered a traffic infraction on the same level as drunk driving, speeding, failure to yield, etc. Ultimately, the helmet law was repealed.

    Now we have the seatbelt law, and I am again at a loss regarding how my not wearing a seatbelt is the same as driving impaired, speeding, failing to get my point. Whether or not I am wearing my seatbelt has absolutely no bearing on the safety of other drivers with whom I share the road. I just don't get it...

    I read somewhere that seatbelts have been linked to fatalities where people have survived crashes but could not get out of their seatbelts, due to broken hands/wrists/ arms. Had they not been trapped by their seatbelts, they would have been able to crawl away.

    Finally...wear a seatbelt, if you will...but DO NOT force me to wear one. This should NOT be a traffic is simply a personal choice.

  10. John99 Banned Banned

    it is a simple, unobtrusive device designed to prevent your face from getting smashed into windshield, chest smashed into steering wheel (damaging heart and other internal organs or death), being thrown from vehicle (casuing serious injury and death) etc.
  11. Saven Registered Member

    The basis that the topic rests on is FALSE, and whoever wrote that bit about insurance (Tiassa?) needs to get a clue. Seat belts are not put in cars due to insurance reasons. Seat belts are put in cars because it's the LAW.

    Early 60's.

    Ralph Nader was at the forefront of the battle to impose mandatory seat belt laws. After that, he campaigned to have safety air bags built into all cars manufactured in America. It wasn't until 20 years later that Detroit finally started installing standardized air bags into American cars... something that Nader had first demanded back in 1966. Did the major auto manufacturers finally see the light, and begin installing air bags and seat belts because they wanted to save lives..? No... they began installing them because they realized that Congress was on the verge of caving in to public pressure. Ultimately, that is what Congress did, when they wrote the federally mandated seat belt and air bag laws that required them to be installed in all automobiles sold in the USA. You have them in your own car right now, and you can thank Ralph Nader for that.

    For more info, you might check out Nader's book called "Unsafe At Any Speed." Your local library probably has a copy.

    And for those who don't know, Ralph Nader was the guy who battled with general Motors, over the safety record of the Corvair. That car had a history of flying off the road and killing its occupants. After several years of having Nader at their throats, GM eventually pulled the Corvair from production. It has not been manufactured since.
  12. Absane Rocket Surgeon Valued Senior Member

    I used to say the same thing but now I am no longer sure after I heard this: those that wear a seat belt are MUCH MUCH more likely to avoid secondary collisions. How? If you get in to a bad wreck without a seatbelt, you could be knocked unconscious and the vehicle could cause another accident. If you wear a seatbelt you are likely to remain conscious and regain control of the vehicle.

    I live in Georgia and we are the only state that doesn't make it illegal to drive a pickup truck without a seatbelt on public roads. They are trying to change that law... and I was fully against it until I heard a conservative/libertarian talk show host bring up that point.
  13. Dinosaur Rational Skeptic Valued Senior Member

    If Nader & the politicians were really interested in saving lives, they would have pushed for cars designed with the passenger seats facing backwards.

    If they had pushed for that legislation, the politicians might have been voted out of office & Nader might have been viewed as a nut or a potential control freak.

    Such an idea would take a lot of effort in education to overcome a predjudice against traveling backwards. People on airplanes object to facing backwards even though you can not tell which way the plane is going without looking out a window during boarding or take off. During WW2, the military had some transport planes with backward facing seats. Most soldiers complained.

    Note that backward facing seats would add very little (if anything) to the cost of a car. Air bags cost about $1000 or more each.
  14. jmpet Valued Senior Member

    There are greater things to protest in America than having to wear a seatbelt. Seatbelts save lives. Yeah yeah I know some family drowned because they couldn't get them off (if such a thing ever really happened) but this falls short of arguing against the thousands of lives saved every year with seat belts.

    Go to any trauma unit and ask them about seat belts- they'll have stories to tell.
  15. codanblad a love of bridges Registered Senior Member

    your example is only within america. obviously its the law, but maybe insurance companies affected the creation of that legislation. maybe nader was on the their pay roll, maybe they informed the public how great the need for seat belts were, etc.

    @tiassa's post: i think we're better off with seat belts than without, and i don't know what role insurance companies played.

    @vslayers post: i agreed with everything in the opening post's article, i think ur argument is flawed. i think a person's body can take the whiplash and cracked ribs better than hurtling though a window into traffic/poles etc. take into account the crumpling car, load limiting belt etc. If you're going fast enough to snap your neck, you're probably fucked either way.
  16. Saven Registered Member

    On insurance companies' payroll? Methinks you need to learn who Nader is.
  17. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    I don't know very many people who could maintain realistically useful control of their severely damaged vehicle after getting slammed hard enough to have knocked them out unbelted, in a real life accident.

    We aren't talking pro drivers in stock racers, here.

    Meanwhile, the principle involved is fairly important, IMHO: the unbelted driver is no more risk to others than the belted one, and so the government has no role to play. I almost always belt up - routinely, habit - but the few times when I don't (such as when I'm in good clothes and the damn "convenient" belt was shut outside the door in the rain getting wet and muddy) it's not a big risk to me even. It's a bad law.

    Some of my fonder memories of childhood are of screwing around in the car on long trips. Had the modern laws been in effect, we couldn't have gone to church in the car, let alone visit the grandparents. I can't imagine a long car trip with all the kids belted in the whole way - or rather, I can: a misery. I once drove overnight across the northern end of Wisconsin - about 300 miles after midnight, clear dry weather - with my sisters wrapped in sleeping bags and reclined on lawn furniture in the open box of the pickup, watching the stars wheel and the northern lights (spectacular, that night) and sleeping in comfort. Think that wasn't worth a minuscule extra risk or two?
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2009
  18. codanblad a love of bridges Registered Senior Member

    from wikipedia, i agree it doesn't seem likely.
  19. codanblad a love of bridges Registered Senior Member

    some people act like wearing a seat belt is worse than cutting their own balls off. or where applicable, their labia majora. personally i'm so used to wearing one, i'm more comfortable with it on than off.
  20. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    I'm not as familiar with the seat belt arguments, but the argument for compulsory motorcycle helmets always comes down to the cost of medical care for the injured driving up the price of insurance for everyone. Both sides have a reasonable premise. Since I always wear my seat belt (and always wore my helmet back in the day), I don't mind the laws but I understand the argument.
    I carry a tool in my car that is a knife on one end that can cut a seatbelt and a small hammer on the other end that can break safety glass. Breaking the glass allows water to enter the car more quickly, so the pressure is equalized before it sinks to the bottom, allowing you to open the door and crawl out while you're still close enough to the surface to swim up for a breath. These used to be imported from Europe but they're now made in China so they're less than $20.00.
    Simply having your head hit the windshield at traffic speed might not break it, but the trauma could easily kill you. The major benefit of a seat belt is to distribute the impact over your ribs and pelvis, which are more able to withstand it. The goal of today's safety engineers is to avoid serious injury in a 30mph head-on collision with a vehicle of equal mass, which is equivalent to driving into an immovable object at the same speed. You'll still probably die if you hit a bridge abutment head on at highway speed, but most collisions involve more oblique angles and greater survivability with belts and air bags.
    Road accidents are one of the leading causes of death everywhere on earth. Even in Africa where people are dying from dysentery and in Pakistan where they're being murdered.

    I read that one of the leading causes of road accidents in the Third World is that people can't afford glasses. Some fellow (I haven't got the link handy) recently invented oil lenses that can be easily configured by the user and they could be produced for something like five bucks per pair. If charities start shipping those, they might save more lives than food and medicine. Bill Gates could afford to buy them for everybody and it would be good for his business because then they could also use computers.

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    Many people are risk-takers; it's a form of gambling with higher stakes. Young people feel immortal and also feel uncomfortable with the restraint. A passive restraint system is the only way to get (substantially) everyone to comply. They keep working on that, one day they'll get it right. The automatic pillar-mounted seat belts of fifteen years ago worked pretty well, but apparently they couldn't get the geometry right to keep you from sliding out from under them in a crash. Those knee-bumpers were just awful.
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2009
  21. madanthonywayne Morning in America Registered Senior Member

    I've never found myself so completely in agreement with you.
  22. Repo Man Valued Senior Member

    Airbags do not guarantee injury in every crash.
  23. Asguard Kiss my dark side Valued Senior Member

    FR there is a really high tech way to ensure that everyone wears a seat belt, ie if there is a weight on the seat then the belt must be clicked in or the engin cuts out. The ovious problem with this is cars like mine where there are large stacks of text books on the back seat but if nessary i could plug the belt in and THEN stack the books on the seat. You could also use warth to determine if it was a human on the seat or if it was an object

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