Northeast Coalition for Roadway Safety: Myth vs Fact

This page shows interesting information used in our Facebook Myth vs. Fact campaign for the Northeast Region.

Click each myth to reveal the truth!

Consider the law of physics. If you crash or slam on your brakes, your car comes to a sudden stop, but your body will keep moving until it is stopped - by the windshield, dashboard or pavement. Use the following formula to determine the appropriate force it takes to restrain a person in a crash.

Speed of Car x weight of passenger
(Ex. 40 mph x 150 lbs = restraining force of 6000 lbs.)

Do the math. Could you bench press 6000 lbs? Can you realistically stop yourself from colliding into your passengers?

Myth: My vehicle has air bags, so I do not need to wear a seat belt.

Even if your vehicle has air bags, always wear your seat belt. When are bags are used alone, they are only 11% effective. However, the combination of a properly worn seat belt and use of an air bag can reduce the risk of death by 63%.

Myth: When there are winter road conditions, as long as I slow down and set my cruise control I should be okay.

If you must be out traveling during winter road conditions, it is very important that you slow down and be aware of those around you, however, you never want to set your cruise control.  By doing so, if your car skids it will accelerate and rapidly spin the wheels since it will be trying to maintain a constant speed. You will be more likely to lose control of your vehicle.

Myth: If my car catches fire or is submerged, I would rather be thrown than trapped.

Less than ½ of 1 % of crashes involve either water or fire, plus the odds of your safety belt not releasing are minimal. Wearing a safety belt stops your body from being thrown around inside or outside the vehicle. A safety belt decreases the chances you’ll get hurt or knocked unconscious by firmly keeping you in place—there’s no way you can escape if you’re knocked unconscious.  In 2005, of 742 crashes involving driver ejections, 658 (almost 96%) of the drivers were not wearing their safety belts.

Fact: If I have had just a little bit to drink, I just always call someone to come pick me up.

Buzzed driving is considered operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) .01% to .07% - under the legal limit. So although it is not illegal, buzzed driving is just as dangerous as drunk driving.