I remain amazed, decades after seatbelts have become mandatory items in vehicles and after uncontroverted evidence of their efficacy, that folks still choose to drive around without their protection (as evidenced by the tickets issued recently in West Fargo’s enforcement blitz). Apparently, there are still some folks out there who are glossing over the reports of automobile accidents in the news wherein it is specifically stated that the folks who died were not wearing a seatbelt. Not surprisingly, the odds of surviving in a major accident as a projectile are dramatically reduced – go figure.
I wonder if the folks who don’t wear a seatbelt are still hanging on to the notion that it is better to be thrown clear of the vehicle than to be trapped inside of it. Seriously?! Who still thinks that all these years later?
If you believe that it is safer to travel without a seatbelt than with one, please try my little experiment:
1) Go to a remote stretch of highway or country road where no one else is around.
2) Put a tissue box on the back seat of your car.
3) Get your travel speed up to 25 miles per hour.
4) Stop suddenly.
5) Check to see where the tissue box is.
Did the tissue box move? It did, didn’t it? It actually flew, didn’t it? How far did it fly? What do you guess that box weighs – maybe a handful of ounces?
Hmmmmm…how much do you weigh? How many times heavier are you than the box of tissues? You too, unsecured in a vehicle like the tissue box, would fly in these conditions. If the speed wasn’t too great you may find your movement stopped by a non-moving object such as a front seat, the car frame or the windshield. But if you were clipping along at a decent speed you should be able to experience the flight you seek – the flight that throws you free of the vehicle. Of course, something will eventually end your flight of fancy – another vehicle, a tree, the highway – something. I don’t know how hard-headed you are, but I am guessing the abrupt end of your flight may take a fairly dramatic toll on the state of your well-being.
Come on people, do the research – seatbelts save lives. You should not need a law to ensure you make safe choices. Use your head for more than a battering ram against a solid immovable force…use your head for smart risk management choices and buckle up each and every time you travel in a vehicle. It’s the smart thing to do – ask your tissue box.
Day eight hundred and sixty-eight of the new forty – obla di obla da