Answer to Question #37325 in Other Economics for marie

Question #37325
'wearing a seat belt is up to me to decide. Its my life and if i get hurt in an accident it affects nobody else'. This is often said by car drivers,but would an economist agree with them? Explain your answer.
Expert's answer
Answer on Question #37325 - Economics - Other.

The seat belts should be mandated by law, because the society ends up bearing the brunt of the cost for people who fail to wear their seatbelts.
In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
It has been proven that seat belt laws increase the use of seat belts. Increasing the national seat belt use rate to 90 percent from the current 68 percent would prevent and estimated 5,536 fatalities, 132,670 injuries and save the nation $8.8 billion annually.
We all pay for those who do not wear seat belts. The higher health care and insurance costs that result from unbelted drivers and passengers involved in crashes get passed along to everyone.
For example, the costs of hospital care for an unbelted driver are 50 percent higher than those for a driver who was wearing a safety belt. Society bears 85 percent of those costs, not the individuals involved.
Thus, seat belt use should be mandatory.

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