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Myth Busters

MYTH: Seatbelts are uncomfortable or inconvenient.

FACT: For those drivers and passengers that have made wearing a seatbelt part of their everyday routine, there is no discomfort or inconvenience to them. It can be overemphasised that seatbelts are confining and cause serious discomfort, but even if this is the case for those not used to wearing them, it in no way compares to the pain of being thrown through a windscreen or being pinned to a steering wheel.

MYTH: Seatbelts aren't needed in cars with air bags.

FACT: Whilst air bags do provide supplemental protection in frontal crashes, they provide no support in a side of rear impact or rollover crash.

MYTH: A seatbelt will prevent me from escaping from a fire or from being underwater.

FACT: Crashes involving fire or water are rare. When they do occur, the best chance of survival rests in remaining conscious and uninjured. Without a seatbelt, the likelihood of being knocked unconscious or severely injured is much greater, meaning any form of escape will be impossible.

MYTH: I'll have a better chance of surviving if I'm thrown clear in a crash.

FACT: Firstly, being thrown safely clear in a crash is almost impossible and when it does occur, it can result in you being thrown through your windscreen, into the pavement or even being crushed by your own or another vehicle. During a crash, the safest place to be is inside your vehicle, being held secure by your belt.

MYTH: Seatbelts can result in injuries during a crash.

FACT: When worn properly worn safety belts seldom cause injuries. Despite this, drivers and passengers have suffered from a broken collar bone, cracked ribs or damage to the abdomen. However, a seatbelt will prevent more severe injuries than it will ever cause. Unrestrained, you run the risk of crashing into other occupants, being pinned against the steering column or dash board, or smashing through the windscreen.

MYTH: I don't need a belt if I'm not going far, am familiar with the route and won't be going fast.

FACT: A great deal of crashes occur on both urban and rural routes that drivers and passengers are used to taking on a regular basis. Familiarity can lead to complacency and a lack of attention to the hazards around you. It is on the roads you use most regularly where the most serious and fatal of crashes can therefore occur. A seatbelt is needed on all journeys, at all times.

MYTH: The chance that I'll have an crash is so small, those things only happen to other people.

FACT: This is an attitude that is universal to everything we do and we're used to believing that crashes only happen to other people. However, next time it could be you. It could be your name in the headlines. The crashes you see on the roads you travel, if you'd left a few minutes earlier, could that not have been you?

MYTH: I'm a good cautious driver, it won't happen to me.

FACT: Whilst you may be a responsible driver, you aren't able to control other drivers on the road. No matter how safe you are, you won't be able to control the drunk driver or the speeding driver that might hit you. Don't underestimate the risks.

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