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Sadie Says… Buckle up every trip, every time

Q. My friend makes me crazy. She’s always on my case about wearing a seatbelt. I’m a good driver, my car has lots of airbags and usually I’m just bopping around town. Why buckle up?

A. Seatbelts save lives. Excuses don’t.

“I’m a good driver”

You may be the world’s best driver, but you still can’t prevent the weather, animals or the behavior of other drivers sharing the road. Wearing your seatbelt is your best defense. It helps to keep you in control of your vehicle when adverse conditions or situations arise.

“I don’t need a seatbelt

my car has airbags”

Don’t be lured into a false sense of security.

Airbags are supplementary restraint systems. They only deploy once and only in certain types of crashes.

So, if you are in a crash in which your vehicle is hit more than once, the airbags will not help through the entire crash sequence.

Your seatbelt protects in all types of crashes. It is the most important safety feature in your vehicle. When correctly worn — across the shoulder, chest and hips — it keeps you in your vehicle and helps you ride down the crash. It also keeps you in position with the airbags.

“I’m not going far”

Most crashes happen close to home and at speeds under 40 mph, where people are in familiar neighborhoods — the comfort zone. As you make your trips to the local store, church or to visit friends and family, always buckle up.

Seatbelts save lives, especially the lives of older adults. The older a person is, the greater the chance they will be involved in a crash, the greater the risk of more severe injury or death from the crash, the longer the hospital stay, the longer the recovery time and the less chance of recovery.

So be a safe driver. Buckle up. Everyone, every trip, every time.

— Sadie Says is provided by the Lycoming County Health Improvement Coalition.

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