It is a fact that wearing a seat belt when traveling in a motor vehicle in Pennsylvania may be one of the best ways to reduce the risk of losing one’s life in a car crash. Unfortunately, even seat belt use is not a 100-percent guarantee.

Seat belt use, however important, may not save everyone in a car accident. Nonetheless, it can increase chances of survival and reduce the odds of a serious injury.

Death of driver despite seat belt use

A recent car accident reported by NorthCentralPA.com illustrates the point. In that Montoursville incident, a 49-year-old woman lost her life in a collision despite wearing her seat belt and the deployment of airbags.

The 24-year-old driver of another car collided with the back of the woman’s vehicle. The report does not specify at what speed the younger driver was traveling, but the trauma inflicted on the deceased woman was clearly severe.

A gas pipeline suffered damage as a result of the crash. The gas company had to shut off the gas prior to authorities being able to get to the woman. What caused the second driver to rear-end the woman is not clear, but blood alcohol content results were pending, and charges of driving while under the influence were possible.

Seatbelts decrease the number of fatalities

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that more than 50 percent of fatalities from motor vehicle accidents involve unbelted people. Securing with a seat belt is the single most valuable method to prevent death in a serious crash.

The good news is that more people are using their seat belts than ever before thanks to legal mandates and education. From 1981 to 2010, seat belt use increased from a bit over 10 percent to 85 percent. However, 15 percent of people still do not use their belts when traveling in a vehicle.

As occupants of vehicles, people cannot control speeding and other risky acts of other drivers. However, people can increase their chances of surviving a collision by buckling up.