Seat Belts Save Lives Essay

Darius Humphrey Comp I-GE117 Mrs. R. 30 May 2012 “Seatbelts Save Lives” Seatbelts save lives; by wearing them we could have lower insurance premiums, have lower fatality rates in automobile accidents, and keep the cost of hospital care a little more under control. Did you know that the cost of hospital care for unbelted drivers is 50% higher than the cost for a belted driver? Studies by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration also show that most unbelted drivers tend to drive more careless and in most cases are uninsured.

It’s not fair someone to drive with care, and have to pay an arm and a leg to insure their vehicle because of few reckless drivers. There are two types of seatbelt laws, primary and secondary. Primary allows an officer to issue a citation for a first offense violation and secondary gets you a warning for the first violation and then you will receive citations if you continue to break the law. All insurance quotes are based on good driving skills. Violators of seatbelt laws are also tracked by or documented by their auto insurance companies, who in turn provide a poor driving rating.

We Will Write a Custom Essay Specifically
For You For Only $13.90/page!


order now

These seatbelt related violators cause rates to increase on an annual basis. Once the seatbelt law is violated a hefty fine is issued that increases insurance rates; while buckling, or obeying the law, may actually lower monthly premiums. The importance of buckling up can not be stressed enough, as it is vital to safety and well-being of everyone in any given vehicle. In the article Risk Compensation or Risk Reduction,” authors David J. and Lilliard E. Richardson suggest that drivers enjoying greater safety are least likely to drive recklessly.

Fixed-effects models with policy and demographic variables are estimated using annual state data from 1985 to 2002 to test the effect of seatbelt laws and seatbelt use rates on logged fatality rates, for occupants, pedestrians, motorcyclists, and all non-occupants in separate models. Contrary to the risk compensation hypothesis, the results indicate that both occupants and non-occupants enjoy greater safety due to state mandatory laws and increased safety belt use rates. In a separate article written by David J. and Lilliard E.

Richardson titled “Safety Belt Use and Switch to Primary,” it states that some believe that tremendous variation exists within the seatbelt law. Secondary enforcement allows the officer to issue a citation only if the motorist is stopped for another infraction first, whereas primary enforcement allows the officer to issue a citation for any infraction. A cross-sectional time series analysis was conducted on the impact of upgrading from secondary enforcement to primary enforcement on belt use rates for forty-seven states including the District of Columbia.

The results suggest that states with secondary enforcement laws could increase the belt use rates by ten percentage points and improve public safety considerably by upgrading to primary enforcement laws. In May of 2012 there was an article posted in the USA Today that stated that some Americans were upset with the seatbelt laws because it infringes upon their liberty. Most people who talk this way and still refuse to use the safety belt are only hurting themselves.

Back in 1989 it was said that if two-thirds of the population did not pass seatbelt laws in that year, motor vehicle companies would have to install airbags and automatic seatbelts inside of all cars. The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration estimated that 6,700 lives’ were saved during a 3 ? year period. A University of Michigan study in May found that traffic deaths declined 8. 7% in the first eight states with seatbelt laws. Lindsay Noble and Thomas J.

Zlatoper wrote about the effectiveness of mandated seatbelt laws and suggest that the theory that offsetting behavior asserts when a driver feels safer, they tend to drive with less caution. As a consequence any live saving effect from mandated seatbelt laws devices such as seatbelts could be significantly diminished or entirely offset. State level data 1988 and 1997 was used to test for the presence of offsetting behavior by estimating models explaining total and non-occupant motor vehicle deaths, the model control for the impact of primary and econdary seatbelt laws. The finding did suggest the existence of offsetting behavior for drivers of motor vehicles. Just because you’re buckled up does not mean you should pay less attention to what’s going on around you while driving. The article “Nationwide Effort Seeks Tougher Seat-Belt Laws,” written by Elianna Marziani list some very interesting facts about California’s seatbelt laws and use rates. The state of California received an A with an 89% safety belt use rate. The district overall got an A minus with an 86. % seatbelt use rate and one of the toughest seatbelt rules on the books: a fifty-dollar fine and two points on the drivers license if any person inside the vehicle is unbuckled. The NSC report found that the single most effective way to increase seatbelt use is by using strict enforcement and making it highly visible. The article also mentions that states that upgrade from secondary to primary enforcement laws usually experience a 10% to 15% increase in seatbelt use and fewer fatalities in crashes.

To enforce seatbelt laws the Click-It-Or-Ticket program was produced so drivers can be aware of how serious not buckling up can be. A stronger seatbelt law in the U. S. according to report from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System, enforcement of the seatbelt law led to fewer fatalities and fewer deaths. Secretary of transportation Ray LaHood states that “wearing of a seatbelt cost nothing but it is the only most effective traffic safety device ever invented. Seatbelts are one of the most important parts installed in vehicles and by simply using them we have a chance to keep insurance affordable for all, keep fatality and death rates low, and health care cost for car crash a little more reasonable. There are currently 18 out of the 50 states with secondary enforcement laws. Every state should thrive to upgrade to primary enforcement seatbelt laws and join the fight to save a life.