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Can a seat belt save your live? Yes! The evidence is overwhelming in favor of belts. Of the 50,000 Americans killed each year on our streets and highways, the lives of 5,000 can be saved through the use of seat belts. So says the National Safety Council.

In a crash, seat belts hold a vehicle's occupants and prevents them from being hurled through the wind­shield, out open doors or against objects inside vehicles. For the doubters among us who still don't see the value in seat belts let's answer some questions regarding belts.

What purpose do seat belts serve in low speed city traffic?

Seat belts really help in the majority of accidents which occur in cities at relatively low speeds. Belts prevent ejection from the vehicle - a common cause of serious injury following collisions. Belts lessen the chance of striking the head against windshields and dashboards. They help you retain control in sudden turns or quick stops.

What good are seat belts in a high speed accident?

High speed accidents generate a force many times that of gravity and, of course, some of these collisions, with or without belts are not survivable. However, belts distribute and absorb impact force thus reducing occupant buffeting. If the force of the collision does not cause cabin penetration the evidence is that seat belt wearers survive.

Wouldn't a person be better off if he were thrown clear of a wreck?

Thousands of accident investigations prove you are five times safer if you remain inside the protective shell of a vehicle. Seat belts keep you from being thrown out into the path of other traffic - keep you from striking against fixed objects.

How about being trapped in a burning or submerged vehicle?

In cases of fire or submersion seat belts help by giving you a greater chance of maintaining consciousness - thus increasing your chances for escape.