When the mandatory seat belt law came into effect in my state of Florida at first I thought it was ridiculous. I mean, who does the government think they are to tell me I have to wear my seat belt? I obviously wasn't alone; I had a lot of friends who were ticketed for not wearing a seat belt. Well, I have to admit that I have probably been saved twice from them. The first time I fell asleep at the wheel driving home late one night from an auto auction and I rolled the car several times and ended up in between pine trees with all the windows busted out and half of the roof caved in. I walked way from it. The second time I was hit from the rear while driving a full size extra cab truck, the truck was totaled, I had injuries but could have been killed. The seatbelt kept me from going through the windshield.
Our first notion when we are told that we must do something or else, is to rebel against those who are commanding us even though it may be for our own good. The statistics speak for themselves, seat belts save lives. The old excuse of "If I don't wear a seat belt, I will be thrown clear of the wreckage" doesn't fly. If you get thrown from a vehicle you will probably die or at the least be crippled. In a report from 2002 well over 70% of those ejected from a vehicle died and it was said that of 33,000 passengers killed, nearly 60% were not wearing seat belts. The primary cause of death in ages four to thirty four is car accidents.
Another common excuse is that the seat belt is uncomfortable. This is not a good excuse either. Seat belts today have a range of adjustments to make them more comfortable no matter what size you are. Besides, it isn't nearly as uncomfortable as a neck brace, or a coffin.
Another thing people say is they have never been in a wreck, that they are a safe driver. Remember my story from above, it wasn't my fault when I got hit from behind and even though I had neck and back injuries because I was hit so hard I could have very easily been taken away with a sheet over my head. The odds are against you, in a 10 year period 80% of drivers will be in an accident.
Don't think that airbags alone will save you either. You have probably heard of people being killed by airbags. It usually happens because the person wasn't wearing their seat belt and the airbag hit them right in the face at 200 mph.
Don't care for your safety? What about the safety of those in the vehicle with you? People don't stop to think about that. If you are in the car without a seat belt on and you have someone in the car with you, particularly a child who is smaller, the force of your body being thrown into them could kill them. That fact alone should be enough to make you buckle up.
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