I know this should already be a given, but let’s face it: there are still people who are not faithful to the seatbelt-wearing rule.
In many places, it’s against the law not to wear seatbelts while a car is running. In most places, the requirement is just the front seats (to prevent passengers from flying through the windshield in case of a collision). In others, even the rear passengers are required to wear seatbelts.
Seat belts do several things for you. They provide impact protection, they absorb crash forces, and they keep you from being thrown out of the vehicle. Modern vehicles are built with “crumple zones,” and seat belts are an integral part of the system. The belts hold you in place while the vehicle collapses around your “safe” zone. Belts help keep you in your place, in control, and better able to avoid a crash.
A lot of new cars may have crumple zones and airbags (driver’s and passenger’s side, even!). But these are called secondary protection systems for a reason. It’s still the seatbelt that gives you a higher chance of surviving an accident, and it’s still the seatbelt that makes these secondary protection systems work in the first place.
Airbags can kill if you hit them at an improper angle when they inflate. Crumple zones only work if you’re within the safe zone (meaning away from the zones that crumple during impact). What if you’re thrown into the crumple zone?
Sometimes seatbelts are uncomfortable and inconvenient. But I’d rather be inconvenienced and safe than be comfortable and dead.