West Virginia state law says you have to wear your seat belt when driving, but have you ever wondered why? There is a really good reason besides giving officers another chance to cite you when pulling you over. The reason is that seat belts save lives. It has been shown in many studies that a seat belt could be the one thing that keeps you alive in a crash. While that may make sense, you may still wonder just how a seat belt can protect you.

According to How Stuff Works, a seat belt’s construction allows it to give when needed and hold tight when needed, which is what makes it such an effective tool. You only see part of the overall mechanism: the lap and shoulder belts. They help to spread out force when you stop suddenly. They lay across the two strongest parts of the body which can take more force than other areas.

The part you do not see is a spiraled spring that helps to keep the seat belt firm on your body and tightens when needed to hold you safely in your seat. However, this spring also ensures the seat belt gives slightly to prevent severe injuries.

Your seat belt also works with your airbag to provide even more protection. Your seat belts gives slightly but tightens back up to ensure that you do not smash into the airbag, which could cause major injuries. This information is for education and is not legal advice.