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Learn the Real Truth About Seat Belts Below
The seat belt can also protect someone from being thrown about the cabin of a vehicle, potentially resulting in injury. But while the safety belt is very effective, it also carries the potential for serious injuries in the event of a high-speed crash. It is possible for the chest to be crushed or severely bruised. A crushed chest can have potentially fatal consequences, such as cardiac arrest or bruised lungs. It is also possible that the neck can be broken, resulting in paralysis or even death.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- American car buyers have been shifting away from larger vehicles, fearing higher gas prices, but they are leaving themselves vulnerable in a crash, claims the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.That's true even for small cars that get top crash-test ratings, the Institute said.
In 23 USC 405 we read, “..the Secretary (of Transportation) shall make grants…to states that adopt and implement effective programs to reduce highway deaths and injuries resulting from individuals riding unrestrained or improperly restrained in motor vehicles”. As experts from the automobile industry warned, and as research has shown, restraints (seatbelts) increase, not decrease, the chance of an individual being killed or severely injured in an automobile accident. The implicit assumption contained in the statement, that highway deaths and injuries result from people not wearing seatbelts, is totally and demonstrably false. Yet that is the law of the land.
In 23 USC 157 we read: “…(6) Savings to the federal government. The term “savings to the federal government” means the amount of Federal budget savings relating to federal medical costs (including savings under the medicare and medicaid programs under titles XIII and XIX of the Social Security Act (42 US 1395 et seq.), as determined by the secretary”. This pseudolegalistic nonsense was supposed to convince you that that forcing seatbelts on the public was going to save the Social Security System money! Apparently congress thought better of it, because they took this paragraph out in subsequent versions of the law.
The case for seatbelts in automobiles was based on five false assumptions, something congress could easily have discovered before passing this legislation if they had bothered to ask the experts or, indeed, if they had merely listened to the experts, for the experts did try to tell them. They not only did not ask, they turned a deaf ear when they were told. As a result, thousands have died.
The five false assumptions were these:
1. Most people who are killed in automobile accidents are killed in head-on collisions. In fact, according to the government’s own data, fewer than two percent of all collisions are head-on collisions and fewer than 14% of all fatal collisions are head-on collisions.
2. People are killed in head-on collisions by being thrown through the windshield. In fact, according to the latest available government data, of the 36,281 vehicle occupants who were killed in 2001 (the last year for which the government listed head-on collisions as a separate category) only 145 were “thrown through the windshield”.
3. Vehicle occupants would be saved if they were prevented from being thrown through the windshield by wearing a seatbelt. In fact, if the force on the occupant is sufficiently great to throw him through the windshield, the injury inflicted on the wearer by the seatbelt itself would be enough to kill him.
4. The passenger compartment is never stove in, in fatal collisions. In fact, the overwhelming majority of motorists who are killed in fatal collisions are killed by being crushed to death when the passenger compartment is stove in. The seatbelt acts like an anvil, holding the occupant in place as he is being crushed to death.
5. The seatbelt itself will not injure the wearer. In fact, in a head-on collision as low as 30 miles per hour with one foot of crush, the seatbelt will exert a force on the wearer of 30 times his body weight, i.e., enough to kill him. The fact that the seatbelt itself might injure the wearer never occurred to them. The seatbelt proponents had never heard of Newton's second law of motion!
The key question, what is the effect of seatbelts on people in other types of accidents, was not considered.
After motorists were first required to use seatbelts, reports began to come in from emergency rooms that people were being killed by seatbelts. Instead of heeding these reports and repealing the seatbelt laws, congress put forward the theory that it was merely a mistake in seatbelt design, and ordered the addition of shoulder belts to seatbelts. This resulted in an increase in seatbelt fatalities, as motorists were now being killed by their shoulder belts as well as by their lap belts.
When it became clear that seatbelts were not effective in preventing fatalities in head-on collisions, NHTSA, in line with its continuing mandate to promote seatbelts, put forward the theory that they would prevent people from being killed in roll-overs. Quite apart from the fact that most people couldn’t roll their cars over if they tried, it turned out that most people who were killed in roll-overs were killed by being crushed when the roof caved in. The best chance of survival in such a case is to duck down, jump clear or be thrown clear, all of which are prevented by a seatbelt. The effect of seatbelts in roll-overs was thus to increase, not decrease, the number of fatalities.
NHTSA then put forward the theory that seatbelts would save people from being killed by preventing them from being ejected. For a person to be ejected from a vehicle in an accident requires an unusual collision or roll-over of extreme violence, in which case the vehicle is usually so badly crushed that anyone trapped in the vehicle by a seatbelt would be almost sure to be killed. We know from actual accident reports that a person has a better chance of surviving such an accident if he is ejected than if he is trapped in the vehicle. There is nothing new or mysterious about this. Anyone who has seen an old western movie has probably seen the scene where two locomotives are about to collide. The engineer and the fireman do not fasten their seatbelts in such a case; they jump clear to save their lives. Yet locomotives are far more resistant to crush than automobiles.
In line with the mandate of congress, NHTSA continues to lobby states to pass primary seatbelt laws. One of the ways they do this is to stage what we call “The Show” for state legislative committees considering seatbelt bills. How many of the cast show up at a particular hearing tends to vary from state to state and year to year. The cast usually consists of the head of the state police department, the head of the state department of transportation, the head of the public health department (or their subordinates), the local representative of MADD (a wholly owned subsidiary of NHTSA) a lady variously described as a “mother” or “home maker”, someone claiming to be the relative of an accident victim, and possibly one or two other people, variously described as a “child advocate” or “safety advocate”, all reading from a script supplied to them by NHTSA.
The testimony is a clever mixture of false, misleading, emotional and irrelevant statements. Someone usually tells a tearful story about how a relative got killed in an automobile accident and therefore the legislature should force people to wear seatbelts. The hope is that this non-sequitur will not be questioned. You are supposed to jump to the conclusion that the relative would have been saved if he had been wearing a seatbelt, even though there is not a single verified case of a person's life ever being saved by a seatbelt in an automobile accident.
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