> Are you more likely to survive a crash with or without a seatbelt?

Are you more likely to survive a crash with or without a seatbelt?

Posted at: 2015-04-14 
I know this seems like a stupid question but I have a reason for asking it. A person I work with was driving, late night with no seatbelt on and speeding and rolled her car and totaled it, and during a discussion she said that she has heard from the fire fighters that rescued her and from research that in most crashes seat belts do more damage then good. Of course I didn't believe her then another co worker butted in and started going off about how she heard that too. And even though the driver has neurological issues since she slammed her head into the dash because of no safety harness she still believes it is true. I tried researching this but I couldn't find anything exactly about that, so could someone please tell me because it seems crazy to me

There are some people who believe seat belts are dangerous. They are wrong. These people will often claim that their belief came from some authoritative source such as a paramedic or some unspecified "scientific study." The sources can not be verified or will turn out to be just another mis-informed person with no sound basis for their belief. It is a myth. Seat belts are essential safety equipment in a car.

The source of the confusion is probably related to the fact that people can in fact be injured by seat belts during a severe accident. However, those injuries are less severe than they would have been without the seat belt. Always wear your seat belt.

Emergency response people are unanimous - seat belts are a *huge* benefit in survival and injury prevention, especially in rollovers. I am glad your friend was not grievously injured (although neuro injury is mighty serious in itself) but the odds were definitely against her. On the other hand, rollovers when all passengers are restrained are often injury free - or at least injuries that need treatment. My own circle of friends includes one who was involved in an accident in which a mother and her baby, both properly restrained, were in a car that rolled at 75 mph, rolling so many times the only estimate witnesses could offer was "dozens." The mother had a cut on the back of her hand and the baby was completely unhurt. Another pair were in a car that rolled onto its roof at 75 mph and slid across the median into oncoming lanes - one strained neck, no other injuries.

What do first responders *actually* say? A good friend who worked as an EMT for 12 years, mostly on freeways around St. George, UT, once told me in all that time he only saw two restrained passengers (both drivers) who were killed, and both were from freak impacts with flatbed trailers. A Highway Patrol officer told us at a recent safety meeting about the most horrific accident he had ever seen. It was a simple spinout that produced a rollover in which the driver was ejected and the car rolled over him or her - it was impossible to tell from the remains and he never did find out which it was. He said most of the remains was unidentifiable pieces of flesh and bone, but the car had landed on its wheels, still running, and could be driven to where the tow truck could get a better shot at it.

And this video tells a powerful tale of the importance of safety devices, especially restraints, in rollovers:


People do not want to admit their foolishness has cost them so much.

Her "neurological issues" are causing her to remember things that didn't happen (or to lie to you). Firefighters would never say what she told you they said.

You are more likely to survive with a seat belt.

In the very rare cases when a seat belt does do "more damage than good", it is usually because the person would have died without the seat belt, and the injuries that the person got with the seat belt were worse than death, so saving the person's life was more bad "than good".

There are two exceptions:

1) If you don't crash, but you find a bomb in your car, so you need to get out as quickly as possible. (This applies only if you don't crash; if you do crash and need to get out because of a fire or water, then you can get out faster if you were wearing a seat belt. If you are not wearing a seat belt, then your injuries will make it take longer to get out.)

2) If you are driving across a frozen body of water (not on a road/street/etc.) and the ice breaks under the weight of your vehicle, so you need to get out quickly. (This applies only if you are driving on ice and don't crash. If you are driving on a road/street and crash into water without a seat belt, then your injuries will make it take longer to get out, so you will die. In that situation, you need a seat belt to survive.)

Neurological damage or better known as BRAIN DAMAGE. These people will never walk again, talk again, can only be fed through a tube, can't dress themselves, and have facial scars that will never go away. Those are the lucky ones that come out of the COMA. Some stay unconscious until they waste away to nothing...months unconscious in a hospital.

Now compare that to if they had been wearing their seat belt...result would be crushed or broken legs and that is all. Legs can be fixed and healed.

"Head injuries" not to this day. They are with you for the rest of your life.

. I read too where the person is thrown from the vehicle which initially sounds good, until the vehicle rolls over them...or another car drives over them, or the body goes flying through the air and lands on a fence post or tree through the chest. They are still dead.

. Cars that land in the lake. Do not fill up with water INSTANTLY. so they have time to unbuckle and roll down a window and escape.

. Cars do not explode on impact. Only in Hollywood as they put explosives on the car as well for it to explode into a fiery ball of flames.

. Seatbelts have proven themselves useful in cars with airbags if they are worn at the same time..

. Professional automobile racers wear a 5 point seatbelt. A lap belt does not cut it when they wipe out at 200+MPH. And they walk away.

I find it pretty hard to believe the emergency response guys would say that, the only detriment to belts would be if you got caught in the car on fire and couldn't get the melted plastic buckle off. I personally hate them and I am seldom to wear one in town. I do however wear them on the freeway and in mountains, especially in bad winter weather. Belts may do more damage in a regular slow speed accident, but in the event of a rollover they will save you from being ejected or hanging out the window as the car rolls on you. I still believe they should be up to the driver to decide, not some bunch of insurance company ninny lobbyists looking out for their profit margin.

And did it not occur to you to dial up any local firefighter, rescue squad's number? IN my area, a father an son riding in a Hummer, the dad not belted, the nine year old boy belted, rounded a bend and came upon a stranded vehicle on their road. That car had hid a deer and was disabled. The dad maneuvered the Hummer to avoid the collision. The father was ejected and crushed by the vehicle as it rolled. The boy had minor scratches. Yet again in my area three sixteen year old boys, the driver belted, the passengers not, were in a crash as the driver decided to speed, show off, etc. He lost control of the car and the vehicle crashed. The passengers were killed, The driver survived. Time and time and time again, one freak accident as to no belt gets more notice that the thousands that do not. In a crash, no belt, the body goes everywhere. The Princess Diana crash proved this correct. She and her boyfriend died of internal injuries caused by not being belted. The driver, drunk, crashed into a pillar in an underpass in Paris. The bodyguard, belted, had no injuries. While anything can invade the car and kill people, the impact forces will not cause major injury. Your friend is wrong. All you had to do to prove her wrong was to call the people that attended her. And then tell her how wrong she was.

Just listen to the news on traffic deaths. With rollovers most the time with out seat belts they are thrown out and crushed by the vehicle then. She's just saying that to cover her stupidity.

People "Hear" and say all kinds of stupid things. Doesn't mean that any of it is true.

It's been proven over and over again. Seat belts save lives!

It's pure dumb luck to survive without the belt on.

The first thing to keep in mind is that no two collisions are exactly the same. Yes, there have been some instances where a person not wearing a belt has been thrown clear from a collision and came out with less injuries than people that did wear their seatbelts and remained inside the vehicle.

But, for majority of the cases, a person wearing a seatbelt will sustain less injuries compared to a person not wearing a belt. That has been proven many times over in both collision tests and real world crashes.