Seriously, Wear a seat belt!
July 20, 2006
Investigators in Clark County, Ohio said 18-year-old Jacob Beam of Fairborn was killed in an accident on the morning of Sunday, June 11. Investigators said it appears the driver may have lost control, went off the road and struck a utility pole; neither teen was wearing a seat belt.
Safe Driving Lesson Learned
Wear lap belts around your hips, not your stomach. Fasten them snugly. Wear a shoulder belt only with a lap belt. Don’t just use your safety belt for long trips or high-speed highways. More than half of the collisions that cause injury or death happen at speeds less than 40 mph, and within 5 miles of home.
Some people think that because their car is equipped with an airbag they don’t have to wear their safety belt. Airbags will save your life, sometimes in a head-on collision. But you still have to wear your safety belt with an airbag. Excuses some people make for not wearing a safety belt:
- It wrinkles my clothes. All you need to do is take a handkerchief or a small hand towel and keep it in your car. If you’re wearing nice clothes, put the handkerchief or towel between the seat belt and your clothes. It smoothes out that area and keeps it wrinkle free.
- They’re uncomfortable. If your safety belt touches your neck and it’s uncomfortable, purchase a sheepskin or cloth covering. You put the covering over the spot on the seat belt that irritates you. This makes wearing the seatbelt more comfortable. You could also have a mechanic lower the belt an inch or two for a few dollars.
- I forgot. If you make fastening your safety belt a habit, you will never forget.
- They’re broken. Get them fixed – it could save your life!
- I can brace myself in a crash. You cannot brace yourself. A 30-mph crash is the same force of impact as falling off a four-story building. Imagine that you are on the fourth floor of a building where there’s a balcony. Could you dive off the balcony and land on the sidewalk in the pushup position? You couldn’t – it is impossible.
This post is an excerpt from a recent edition of the Safe Driving Teen Monthly Bulletin. Each month the National Safety Commission publishes the bulletin for teens and parents designed to improve teen driver behavior, attitude, skills, and experience. Subscription Details