Most of us have an opinion. Whether it’s correct or not, we’re entitled to it. But just like elbows, everyone’s got a couple of them. Having an opinion is fine, but if research shows a completely opposite result, why keep your own opinion? What I’m referring to is seatbelt use. Many people feel they can brace themselves with their hands if the driver brakes suddenly. Nice try.
The good news in Canada is that 92% of vehicle occupants wear seatbelts, but what’s up with the remaining 8%? Some people would argue that it’s just a small percentage, but wait; couldn’t some of those 8% be friends or relatives of yours? Why aren’t they wearing their seatbelts?
One of the interesting points from the latest statistics is that the older we get, the better chance we’ll wear our seatbelt. Of those under 25, only 88% of them wear their seatbelt. Why? It had become a law in most jurisdictions well before they were born. Were they influenced by their older family members not to wear a seatbelt?
I was recently stopped at a stop sign and was monitoring my mirror while waiting for my turn to enter the intersection. I happened to notice the driver of the car that was stopped behind me was wearing his seatbelt, but his front seat passenger wasn’t. They both appeared to be in their late teens or early twenties. What possessed the passenger to think that the driver wouldn’t have to stop suddenly or suddenly swerve to avoid a problem? Why didn’t the driver take the responsibility to ensure his passenger was wearing their seatbelt?
Perhaps the occupants of vehicles haven’t thought of reasons to wear a seatbelt, instead; they think of reasons why they shouldn’t wear them. Since I’m a positive person, here are reasons to wear a seatbelt. Seat belts can protect a person’s vital organs like head (brain) and chest (heart) from getting injured if they are involved in a collision. Some people feel they would be safer if they were thrown from the vehicle. Yeah, right! As if you can determine where you can land while you’re flying through the air.
Here’s the best reason to wear a seatbelt; it keeps you upright in your seat so if you need to stop suddenly or swerve out of the way from a child that suddenly darted into your path, it will allow you to aim your vehicle into your escape. If you’re thrown across your seat, good luck. If your passengers also wear their seatbelt, they won’t be thrown onto your lap or push you through the windshield; with your seatbelt on. This will also allow you to keep your vehicle under control. The bottom line is you can fight science; you just won’t win.