I was recently made personally aware of this question, so, since I (try to be open minded) and am definately opinionated, couldn't resist answering. So....
Seat belts are fine as long as:
1) They are not the kind that come suddenly sliding up to lock you in as soon as you close your door, or the car is started. They are annoying and even when unbuckled, the buckle or whatever it is in the slider still insists on moving up and down whenever the door is opened or closed.
2) They are not the kind that keeps constantly beeping or buzzing until you either put them on, or buckle them behind your back, which that can become uncomfortable.
The reason I say these things are because I personally do not believe that the government, automobile manufactureres, or any other entity has any business telling us once we reach the legal age of adulthood what we can and can not do with our own personal bodies, property or safety, as long as we are not putting anyone else or their properry in jeopardy.
They may want to let us know of the dangers to ourselves of not heeding their warnings, but outside of that, if this country was really "free", they would stay out of our business.
So, ever since I got my first car, I have chosen not to wear a seatbelt for the mere reason that I find it uncomfortable. This was long before there were actual laws that say you can get stopped for not wearing one, or if you passenger is not wearing one. So, now, my one exception is if I am riding with someone else who wears theirs and does not wish to run the risk of being pulled over and/or ticked because I'm not wearing mine. In a case like that, of course I will not put that person in jeopardy.
O.K. point made, I guess. I don't care what frivilous things they want to put in cars, as long as they don't bug me. Air bags for instance, my 80 year old father had a fender-bended last year, in which he would not have been hurt, as the other driver wasn't, except for the fact that air bags came rushing out at him from 3 directions, crushing his ribs pretty badly. Those, are more than an inconvenience and if they are placed in vehicles, there ought to be a way for the consumer to disable them after purchase, if they so wish. These things you ask about should be a personal choice, as long as they are an adult, of course, as to whether they are used or not.
Now, one last remark. If the automobile makers really wish to cut down on the number of injuries that occur in automobile accidents, it seems as if they should have harder (not the right word, but you know what I mean) crash tests when they do them with their dummies before marketing the car. Maybe they should build them more like bumber cars (like in the amusement park) LOL.
I don't know anything about cars except how to drive them, but then again, I don't manufacture and sell them either. But, definately, I see 2 ways to cut down on deaths and injuries in cars.
1) Build them stronger and more resiliant. Don't put uncomfortable things like seatbelts and then make it the law to use them or else....... And don't put airbags that come flying out at who knows what rate of speed that cannot be disabled and have killed children and infants, and crushed all the ribs in an old man.
2) It's not all the auto manufacturers fault. If there were fewer accidents to begin with, there wouldn't be so much chance for injury or dearh. Theres a good place to start, IMO. With the Police. They should have the foresight not to chase people who do not pull over, especially in a city, close to schools and in heavy traffic. I don't know where you live, but here in OKC, there are literally at least 2 per day, often more, and almost inevitably, they end up either with a one or more deaths, and/or several serious injuries.
What's this world coming to?
Sorry - end of rant.