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Do I still need a seatbelt?

It seems like every year there are more safety features on vehicles. Most of the components run in the background, only springing to action when there is an emergency. Still, a few require action from the driver and passengers.

A process that started with headrests has moved forward to include airbags and lane assistance. Now that cars are more advanced, some drivers raise the question of whether seatbelts are still an important safety feature.

Here’s why seatbelts are still a vital part of staying safe when traveling in a car.

The first line of defense

Several years ago, there was a rumor that your airbags would not work unless you had your seatbelt on. People were falsely stating that part of the trigger mechanism in the airbag was part of the functionality of the seatbelt.

While the rumor is false, your seatbelt works cooperatively with your airbag. Car manufacturers designed the airbag to deploy up to a restrained passenger and protect any unrestrained motion, such as from your head or arms.

Airbags are not intended to absorb the impact from an unrestrained person. Also, since an airbag deploys quickly, if you are unrestrained, the impact from the inflating airbag can cause additional injuries.

Although hitting the airbag, restrained or not, is better than if it were not there, the airbag is designed to work with the other safety mechanisms.

It’s still the law

In most cases, seatbelts save lives in car crashes. The time-tested effectiveness is why lawmakers passed legislation requiring you to wear a seatbelt.

There will always be unpredictable circumstances that lead to accidents. When you wear a seatbelt, you can ensure you are in a safer situation.