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Buckle UP!


Lesson 4

Part 2





There are lots of good reasons to always wear your seat belt when you drive or ride as a passenger. First of all, it’s the law in Pennsylvania. In addition to requiring the use of seat belts for you, as an adult, the Pennsylvania Child Passenger Protection Act requires that:


    • All drivers are responsible to secure children from birth to age four in an approved child passenger restraint system. The fine is waived if the driver shows proof of a car seat (primary law).


    • All drivers are responsible to secure children four years of age to eight years of age in a seat belt system and an approved child booster seat. The fine is waived if the driver shows proof of a car seat.


    • All drivers are responsible to secure all children eight years of age and above but under eighteen years of age anywhere in the vehicle in a seat belt. In addition, each driver and front seat occupant shall wear a seat belt.


    • A driver under the age of 18 may not operate a motor vehicle in which the number of passengers exceeds the number of safety seat belts in the vehicle.


Offense: Failure to comply with the provisions of the first two laws shall be a summary offense with a maximum fine of $100.00. Failure to comply with the next two provisions shall be guilty of a summary offense with a fine of $10.00.


For further information on the seal belt laws, go to www.psp.state.pa.us/trooph.


There are actually two collisions in every automobile accident. When your car crashes into something, it gets twisted, bent, or buckled with the force of the collision, then comes to a stop. In the second collision the force of the crash is applied to you, inside your car. And if you’re not wearing seat belts, it’s you that gets your face smashed against the windshield or dashboard, and your body speared on the steering column.

A lot of UNTRUE statements are often made about seat belts. Some of the most common ones are:


    • “In many kinds of accidents it’s better to be thrown clear of the car.” You are roughly 25 times more likely to be fatally injured if you are thrown from your car, in all kinds of crashes. The pavement is hard, there are lots of lethal objects to get thrown into or to hit while you are scraping along the ground, and you’ve got a good chance of being crushed by another vehicle if you’re thrown out of your car. Even if your car catches fire or goes under water – which together make up less than one-half of one percent of all injury-producing accidents – you’re better off if you are wearing your seat belt. It will keep you from hitting your head and losing consciousness, making it possible for you to escape after your car is stopped.



    • “I don’t really need my seat belt since I have a new car with air bags” While air bags alone can reduce your chances of being killed in a frontal collision by 20 to 40 percent, air bags and seat belts in combination make you 45 to 55 percent safer. And air bags provide virtually no protection in rear-end collisions, or if someone runs a stop sign or red light and crashed into you from the side, or if your car rolls over in a crash.





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