Click It Or Be A Projectile…

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

Ms. C

5 Responses

  1. I will give you my insight as to why I don’t belt up.. A few years ago (well more than a few) my father was coming home to visit us at Christmas. He was passed on the road by a Semi trailer.. The weather was bad, the roads were slick.. He ended up in the ditch after rolling over three or four times.

    During this the roof of his car decided that it liked being positioned just over the steering wheel.. My father was thrown to the floor boards and survived. According to the highway patrol if he had been wearing his seat belt he would have been dead..

    When I am out on a road I am more than aware of what is in front and behind me and take appropriate action in accordance with the driving situations.. I don’t try to ‘multitask’ by talking on my phone or using other devices.

    What i can’t control is the guy coming up beside me and the ice underneath me..


  2. Miki T-B

    There seems to be more people who died because they DIDN’T have on their seatbelt compared to those who died even though wearing their seatbelt.

  3. flyingnurse

    Ms. C.,

    I am a flight nurse. Before that I spent 25 years in Emergency Departments and on ambulances. We have a horrible, horrible name for these people: job security. You cannot legislate common sense or morality. The best you can hope for is to minimize the damage caused by those who CHOOSE to injure themselves.

    I am not talking about engineering a 100% safe vehicle (it would be cost prohibitive and if you ever tried to use the bus in Grand Forks, you do not want to be without a vehicle), just putting enough safeguards in place to protect those who are inadvertently injured by another’s reckless actions.

    When I worked on the ambulance not having your seatbelt on was a cause for automatic termination. The reason: if you wrecked and were not wearing your seatbelt as required by law, the insurance company wouldn’t pay. Since the boss knew he would ultimately be held responsible, and having no desire to lose his business because of another person’s stupidity, he simply fired you on the spot. This happened to more than one crew at a stoplight.

    I used to think he was just greedy and did not care about his employees. Now that I am older I agree 100%.

    Unfortunately the classical thinkers of the Enlightenment were wrong, reason cannot cure all that ails mankind. If that were so, you could legislate common sense and morality … something society has failed at doing time and time again.

  4. Tricia K

    You have touched on a topic near to my heart, my uncle was killed September 20th 2011 in a 1 vehicle accident, he was not wearing a seat belt. We now have to live with never knowing if that seat belt would have saved his life. As a child I always fought my mother on wearing a seat belt but being a good mommy she would literally pull the car to the side of the road until I buckled up. Luckily this taught me a good habit and now putting on my seat belt is as automatic as starting the car.

  5. Kevin

    yep agree seat belts are awesome. I never make it to town, or very fast and, I just drive gravel road after gravel road. I often have a tool or two in my pocket, and down time for a farmer costs much. And I am replaceable….your right. I need to wear my seatbelt. I agree. but I also wont. Please accept my thoughts and I will accept yours. its just the way it is. And need I add, my nephew, who always wore his seat belt since he was a VERY small child…one nite he never, he had an accident, he was thrown from the vehicle, his 4 passengers….I believe had theirs on…..he died 4 days before his 18 th birthday……. Need I add he was my buddy, he spent every summer with me from 6 years old til he was about 14, girls had higher priority then I did at that time. He ALWAYS wore his seat belt. So I so agree with you.
    Do I wear mine? Nope, and doubt that will change anytime soon. I have when I borrowed my parents vehicle, that was their requirment. Borrow our car, you will wear your seat belt. I complied., Between broken tail bone, which one never gets over to having closterphobia, it just is an issue with me. I can not be strapped down. You are so very correct, but please dont judge me for my beliefs. I had an accident, ran into a wash out, my passenger spent a few days in the hospital, but I was unhurt, well except for that lil scratch on my head…duh….nothing….as I say, I am to stupid to feel pain.
    have great turkey day…………..

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