Why do we need seat belts?

Seat belts reduce the chance of injury in an accident.

There is a famous story that has been making the rounds on the internet for quite some time now, it is the story of the only two cars in Ohio in 1895 and how against all odds they managed to crash into each other. While there is dispute about the accuracy and truthfulness of the story, one thing we can all agree on is that if they had seat belts in the car at that time, everyone would have been a lot safer.

The modern car can be dated back to 1886 and to a German inventor named Karl Benz, yes the original owner to the Benz Corporation. However, it wasn’t until the early 20th century that cars became cheap enough to be afforded by the mases.

Seat belts actually surpass the invention of the cars, with the seat belts being created in 1885. Seat belts were invented by English engineer George Cayley in the early 19th century, though Edward J. Claghorn of New York, was granted the first patent on February 10, 1885 for a safety belt.

However, these belts were not used in military vehicles until World War II. The belts were invented for tourists, painters, firemen, etc. to secure them in place when they were being raised or lowered with an attachment.

The modern day retractable seat belts are credited to Dr. C. Hunter Shelden, who invented them in 1946 after observing a large about of head injuries that came into the emergency room after car crashes.

Seat belts, along with other safety features, play an important part to limit the amount of injuries a person may suffer during a car crash. A seat belt is a restrain that keeps the user from flying through the windshield in case of a collision. Seat belts have been proven to safe numerous lives and lack of usage has also cause a lot of people to die, many of which could have been saved had they used a seat belt.

A seat belt functions to reduce the likelihood of death or serious injury in a traffic collision by reducing the force of secondary impacts with interior strike hazards, by keeping occupants positioned correctly for maximum effectiveness of the airbag (if equipped) and by preventing occupants being ejected from the vehicle in a crash or if the vehicle rolls over.

Hence, it is important to use a seat belt when driving for all occupants that are sitting in the car. In many countries, it has become a law for drivers and passengers to wear a seat belt when in the car.

Image Courtesy: jameshowden.com

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