Yesterday, a Texas A&M football player and two other passengers of an SUV on a long road trip back to Texas died when the driver lost control of the vehicle and it rolled multiple times on the side of the highway. The driver suffered only minor injuries. The difference for him was that he was the only one wearing a seat belt. One of those killed was a 13-year-old child.
When I was a kid in the '80s and I took drivers ed, I became quickly shocked and appalled by the fact that my parents didn't routinely wear their seat belts. My dad basically never wore his. Seeing all those "blood runs red on the highway" films scared the living hell out of me and I immediately began a campaign to get seat belts around the waists and chests of my family members.
Fortunately, it worked.
But, whenever I read about someone in a fatal accident who was not wearing a seat belt, I am at a loss as to why. I'm sure many of you remember the crash dummy PSAs, and anyone who hasn't been living in a cave or under a rock understands the value of staying inside your car when you are in an accident. There are even laws on the books to require the wearing of a seat belt. Still, some persist in not doing it and I can't figure that out.
The most common complaints are that they are restrictive or that people feel safer without them on. First, who gives a crap if they are restrictive? You're driving, not trying on a track suit. The very car you are in is restrictive. It's a metal can hurtling down the highway with you sitting just inches above the concrete. And yet the belt is too much?
As for that "I'm safer without it so I don't get trapped inside my car" nonsense, better to be stuck inside your car after an accident than lying on the highway after it. Many of the fatal injuries that occur in car accidents are the direct result of the passenger being ejected from the vehicle.
If for no other reason, you should wear a seat belt to at least appear like you aren't an idiot because going around without one on is just plain stupid.
There are three kids who didn't survive a crash, all because they didn't wear their belts. Don't end up like them. Be smart and put on the damn seat belt.
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