Science Wearing Seatbelts

People wearing a seat belt ill have a better chance of surviving a crash if they are not ejected. A third reason to buckle up a seat belt is to obey the law. Seat belt statistics are based on studies Of thousands Of accidents from recent years. Traffic crashes are the leading cause of death and one out of three people will be seriously injured in a car crash during their lives. Sir Isaac Newton was one of the most influential scientists to have ever lived.His many accomplishments included proposing the theory of gravity and developing the three laws of motion. Newton, of course, never saw an automobile but yet through his laws of motion he would have been able to clearly predict and explain the need for seat belts.

Newton ;s first law of motion simply states that any moving object will keep moving at the same speed and direction until some force causes the object to change its motion. When you first get in a car, a force is required to change your motion.As you accelerate the car, you feel the back of the seat pushing you forward but as soon as you reach a constant speed, you no longer feel the seat pushing you from behind. Your body will continue to move in the same speed and direction until a force causes the motion to change. If a car is traveling at 45 MPH and hits a stationary object, the car will stop but the occupants will continue moving in the same direction at 45 MPH. Unbelted passengers will then smash into the dash at that speed, or worse, travel through the windshield until hitting another object like a tree, car, pavement, etc.

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However, belted passengers will be caught by the seat belt, avoiding a collision with the dash or windshield. Perhaps the reason why so many of us don’t wear seat belts is because we just don’t think about the forces involved in crashes. For example, many parents mistakenly believe they can restrain an unbelted child in a sudden stop simply by throwing their arm in front of the child. Newton’s second law explains why this won’t work.

Newton discovered that the faster an object moves, the greater the force required to change its motion.Stopping an unbelted 50 pound child in a 45 MPH crash by throwing an arm in front of the child, would be like trying to top a 1,000 pound steer from trotting pasty’s at 10 MPH with an extended arm. Both acts require the same amount Of energy! One Of the most dangerous places for an infant to ride in a car is in the lap of an unbelted mother. In a crash, the infant has little chance for survival. Even if the mother is belted in, she will not be strong enough to hold the baby in her arms.

When the car stops, the baby and mother will keep traveling forward and the baby will smash into the dashboard and the worse is yet to come.The mother will then smash the baby into the dashboard from behind with an incredible amount of force and the infant will then pull away with an even greater force, leaving the infant lifeless. Car crashes are terrible events that involve Incredible forces. The human body is delicate and fragile. Seat belt use will not ensure survival of every accident, but it is important to understand the forces involved in a crash and realize the effectiveness of seat belts in preventing or reducing injury.

I believe Sir Isaac Newton would say, “Always Buckle Up! “