Should the law require automobile drivers and passengers to use safety belts?
According to the World Health Organization, more than 1.24 million individuals die in road accidents in the world each year, while more than 30 million people sustain serious injuries (World Health Organization, 2013). Road accidents are also in the top five causes of death around the world, which implies the seriousness of the matter (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2013). Albeit road accidents may be caused by a lot of reasons including driving under influence, underage driving, road conditions and car malfunctions, but the major cause of deaths in road accidents is lack of safety precautions measures, especially not using seatbelts by the drivers and passengers.
Using seatbelts increases the chances of survival considerably in case of accident or crash, and even though the advantages of seatbelts have been highlighted and emphasized hundreds of times, still, people simply ignore them. Drivers and passengers fail to realize that a simple decision to wear a seatbelt or not is, in fact, a serious one and draws the line between life and death. Many individuals opt not to use seatbelts when they are travelling small distances, since they are sure that bad things will not happen to them. When any collisions occur, they might result into death or serious injuries, if seatbelts are not used (García-España, Winston, & Durbin, 2012).
Many countries including the United States of America and United Kingdom have already necessitated the drivers, in the eyes of the law, to put on the seatbelts. Even after enactment and implementation of such laws, many people die in road accidents, as they do not use seatbelts, but such laws help to at least reduce the number of death cases. Thus it is concluded that the law should require both automobile drivers and passengers put on safety belts for guard life purposes.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2013, January 11). Leading Causes of Death. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/lcod.htm#
García-España, J. F., Winston, F. K., & Durbin, D. R. (2012). Safety Belt Laws and Disparities in Safety Belt Use Among US High-School Drivers. American Journal of Public Health, 102 (6), 1128-1134.
World Health Organization. (2013, March 8). 10 facts on global road safety. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/features/factfiles/roadsafety/en/