Pros and Cons to Wearing a Seatbelt

Updated February 21, 2017

It's become common knowledge that seat belts save lives. This is why every state now has laws requiring every in a car to wear a seat belt. However, some people believe there are dangerous side effects and negative implications to seat belts and the laws that enforce them. For the most part, the cons can often be explained through other circumstances, and the benefits greatly outweigh the risks.


Countless studies have shown that people wearing seat belts are more than 90 per cent more likely to survive a car crash than those who don't. The belt's main purpose is to restrain the body from being thrown from the seat, preventing serious injury or worse from collisions with the ceiling or windshield.

External Seat Belt Injuries

Some people may hint that seat belts can cause some injuries, including the shoulder harness possibly strangling the wearer. It should be noted that almost all serious injuries caused by seat belts are a result of improperly wearing them--not having the lap belt properly around the waist and the shoulder harness across the torso.

Internal Injuries

Internal injuries can sometimes be caused by seat belts; this is commonly called "seat belt syndrome" and is often a concern among pregnant women, This is rarely due to the simple fact of wearing the seat belt, however. It could be the manufacturer's fault from improperly setting the belt's locking mechanism, or from the excessive force of the crash (which would mean the injuries would have been much worse without the belt), or because the person has been in multiple crashes.


Seat belts in cars are designed for adult drivers and passengers. They often will not provide the proper restraint and protection for young children, and may actually cause injury. This is why a child safety seat need to be installed in the car if a child is a regular passenger.


One major complaint from people is actually about the enforcement of seat belt laws, claiming that police spend more time ticketing motorists than pursuing people who commit actual "victim crimes" and that such laws are only enforced to generate revenue for the department. Police officials counter this by saying that many more people are hurt from car accidents and lack of seat belts than robberies or homicides.

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About the Author

Chris Moore has been contributing to eHow since 2007 and is a member of the DFW Writers' Workshop. He received a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the University of Texas-Arlington.