There's a very fine line between life & death on Indian roads. In most cases, that line is only 6 centimeters wide and runs diagonally across our chest.
Seat belts have been around since the mid-1950s. They are considered to be the most effective safety devices in cars, and can increase your chances of surviving a crash by up to a whopping 60%. Ask any statistician and he'll tell you those are pretty good odds.
Yet, several overconfident and ill-informed road users continue to raise their needles without clicking themselves in. This thread will bust some common myths associated with seat belts, as well as illustrate the genuine abilities of these unassuming safety devices. First, we'll use the help of some real-life examples, submitted by BHPians who have lived to tell the tale - purely thanks to seat belts:
An unlucky night
"First thing I did was switch off the ignition. Then I held my hand, I knew something was broken. Asked co passengers if they are ok, thank god all were wearing seat belts and nobody except me was injured."
10 year old Matiz saved my family
"... my car's left side had gone on the footpath as the lorry driver banged me (remember it was just 10 ft away). IT WAS A HEAD-ON ACCIDENT. The whole car went under the lorry and came out due the impact. .... Ya we had buckled up, but with that heavy monster in the front only luck saved us."
"I heard a bang and the next moment I realised all this action had stopped (i.e. swirling, bouncing, crashing). I saw that I was upside down. I again began praying that I am not on the opposite side or in the middle of the highway and someone comes and bangs me. I couldn't figure out where I was (of course I was in the car). I was upside down. The first thing I did was -- started honking continuously thinking I am in the middle of road and people should get alert. Next I removed the seat belts and crawled out of the car from the driver side window which was anyway shattered."
"I met with an accident earlier this year. 2 days in the ICU, 7 days in the hospital, right femur broken into 6 pieces (now kept together with a titanium rod), an open forehead (no internal injuries), a grave wound on my left knee. ... Yes I was wearing my seat belt. In fact the steering column had collided with the roof due to the accident. Because I was buckled up, many internal injuries were prevented. Even though my head had been cut open at a few places, I was lucky that I had no internal injuries."
"A Maruti Swift, with 5 occupants, probably drunk, going towards Mysore at high speed, jumped the median and landed on the opposite lane bang ahead of the Tata Sumo that was in front of me. The Swift drove in the wrong direction and hit the Sumo head on. .... My Cedia had taken all the impact of the collision with the Tata Sumo and I was unhurt due to the seat belt keeping me in place and the airbags deployed preventing any head injuries."
The worst accident I've ever been in
"... we flipped a total of 6 times. I'm not kidding. For me time kinda slowed down during the whole thing, so I counted the flips. The 6th flip took us off the highway and down about 40 feet into the fields, where the car came to rest on its right hand side. I was in the front left passenger's seat, and hanging from my seatbelt. Had to unhook myself and crawl out the front left window, which had gone. ... All said and done, all three of us in the car were lucky to walk away from this one alive. I don't know how any of us survived, to be honest. I've got one thing to say to everyone on this forum - PLEASE buckle up."
Seatbelts saved my life
"I was sitting at the passenger seat with one of my team member driving. I suddenly remember a huge thud and within no time the car was upside down. Villagers arrived from all directions and to my surprise they were not there to help us - however they were there to steal our valuables. Almost all of us lost our cell phones. I lost my watch which i brought using my first salary. All the occupants of the car walked out of the car with minor injuries, this mainly because of seatbelts."
My NHC that crashed in 2007
"Here's my Honda City that I crashed across a divider on a pitch dark rainy night near AFMC, Pune back in 2007. I got out without a scratch (just a sprain in the neck) due to my habit of harnessing the seat belt. The side panels had been blown away and the bonnet had banged on the windshield before being totally crumpled. The car did a perfect roll mid air some 6-7 feet high and landed on its feet bursting all the four tyres."
"The car skidded first to the left and then right and then the car hit the divider. BANG!! We are dead. That is what hit my mind. Then a lot sound, and I could feel the car going round and round. After a few seconds everything was silent. People gathered. They said the car had somersaulted 7 times. ... Fortunately we were both safe. Guess who was the hero of the day - "SEAT BELTS". If I wasn't wearing them I would have surely been thrown out of the windscreen. We both were wearing seat belts. We both had neck sprains because of the impact."
"Seatbelt saved. This was the state of my Esteem after the accident. Nobody was hurt. A miracle!!"
rohittunga spotted this one
Accident cause unknown, reason for surviving known
"A new Swift collided head on with a truck on Shimoga - Harihara highway. I have no idea how it happened. But the most astonishing fact about this incident was that there was no casualty at all. The person driving the Swift was not the owner but the driver and there was no passenger in the car. Had there been a front passenger in the Swift, then it would've been a different story altogether. The driver was shocked to say the least. He wasn't able to explain to me how the incident happened but told me that he "WORE" the seat belt (which definitely saved his life) . He was busy in narrating this accident to the car owner on the phone."
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