Myth: You don't need seat or shoulder belts if you have air bags.
Reality: If you don't have your safety belts on, you risk not being behind the air bag when it deploys. Safety belts help you stay in control of your vehicle by keeping you behind the wheel.
Myth: If I don’t have a seat belt on, I’ll be thrown free of the vehicle and saved.
Reality: If you get thrown from the vehicle, you’re more likely to be killed by the trip through the windshield, or by the collision you’ll make with the ground 150 feet later, than by the initial collision with another vehicle or any other object.
Myth: I knew someone who died in a car crash because they were wearing their seat belt.
Reality: If a person was killed in a car crash, it was not because they wore their seat belt, it was in spite of wearing their seat belt. The crash was most likely so severe and devastating that only not being in that car at that moment would have prevented that fatality.
Myth: You're in more danger if you're wearing seat belts when your car catches fire or goes under water.
Reality: Less than 10 percent of auto collisions involve fire or drowning. Thirty-percent occur at speeds under 40 mph and involve head, neck, and chest injuries. These are injuries seat belts help prevent or minimize.
Myth: Seat belts aren't necessary if you're only making a short trip.
Reality: Most fatal crashes occur within 25 miles from home. Safety belts give you a 45 percent better chance of surviving a serious crash and a 50 percent better chance of escaping injury. They're the cheapest, most effective defensive measure you can take.
Myth: As long as I wear my lap belt, I don’t have to wear my shoulder belt.
Reality: The lap belt prevents your body from leaving your seat in the event of impact. The shoulder belt prevents everything above your waist from being injured by not allowing you to be thrust forward. Most new model vehicles no longer have separate lap and shoulder seat belts.