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SEAT BELTS In every motor vehicle accident MVA there are actually two collisions The first is the impact of the vehicle The second is the human collision If a car travelling 40 MPH collides with a stationary object the human collision will take place at the same velocity This is why unbelted occupants are so much more seriously injured than belted occupants Imagine what it feels like to bang your chest against a steering wheel or your head against a windshield --at 40 MPH While that might not seem pleasant ejection from a vehicle is even worse The fact is that three-quarters of occupants who are ejected from passenger cars are killed The best way to limit the human collision and protect against ejection is with a seatbelt For the year 1995 only 2 of restrained passenger car occupants were ejected compared to 25 of unrestrained occupants Research has shown that lapshoulder belts when used properly reduce the risk of fatal injury to front seat passenger car occupants by 45 and the risk of moderate-critical injury by 50 The proper use of seat belts is estimated to save 9500 lives each year Put simply Seat Belts Work They are the cure to the disease But too many people continue to ignore this potentially life-saving medicine And while seat belt use is as high as 87 in California less than half 43 choose to buckle up in North Dakota 1997 Nationally seat belt use is approximately 68 --and has not changed significantly over the last 5 years Primary seat belt laws allow law enforcement officials to stop and issue a citation to anyone seen driving without a seat belt These laws work there is a strong correlation between states with primary enforcement laws and seat belt compliance Clearly education pertaining to the enormous benefit of seat belt use must continue Additionally a primary seat belt law should be
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