Since the invention of the modern three-point seat belt in the 1950s, seat belts have made an incredible impact on the safety of driving and riding in an automobile.
- Since 1975, seat belts have saved the lives of approximately 255,000 drivers and passengers.
- Seat belts reduce the risk of death and serious injury in the front seats of an automobile by 45% and 50%, respectively.
- Those not wearing a seat belt are 30 times more likely to be ejected from an automobile during a major collision or accident.
Those statistics speak for themselves – seat belts save lives. However, it’s important to recognize the value of these restraints in situations that may not seem life-threatening, such as in minor fender benders or low-speed collisions.
Studies have shown that people are less likely to wear seat belts when they’re going 30 mph on city streets rather than 50 mph on highway roads. Plus, teen drivers have the lowest seat belt use of any age group – and according to statistics, it’s not getting any better.
Fortunately, there’s an incredibly effective way to illustrate the importance of a seat belt, even in low-speed impacts.
Enter: The Convincer
This large metal structure may look like a torture device or part of an old carnival ride – and in a way, you wouldn’t be completely wrong. The Convincer is a simulator, intended to emulate a car crashing at 5-10 miles per hour.
Think of it as an educational roller coaster – you get your adrenaline pumping, and you learn the dangers of low-speed collisions in the process! Watch how it works here:
Even at 5 mph, and with a seat belt on, notice how hard the students/guinea pigs get jolted. Don’t let scam artists and overly litigious drivers fool you: whiplash is a very real thing, and even in low-speed impacts, painful neck and back injuries are a realistic outcome.
Additionally, consider what would have happened had they been unrestrained and in an actual vehicle. An impact at 5-10 mph is typically too slow for airbags to deploy – which means there would be nothing preventing your body from slamming into the steering wheel or windshield. Sure, you likely won’t be ejected out of the car, but who wants their face smeared across their windshield like a swatted fly?
The solution is simple: wear your seat belt at all times when inside a moving vehicle. And while The Convincer may not change minds overnight, it effectively highlights the dangers of collisions, regardless of speed or severity, and gets people to stop taking their seat belts for granted.