Do seatbelts really help?

@tmlnmr (1850)
Canada
June 22, 2007 4:54pm CST
I have always thought that seatbelts for adults should be optional. It is their own life they are putting at risk and if they do not wear a seatbelt then it will harm no one but them. That being said I do wear my seatbelt but it is more because the fines for not wearing them here are outrageous! Before you answer I would like to tell you a story. I was driving a 1978 Honda Civic and I was bringing my stepfather his lunch. He was doing carpentry work at the time. What happened was the thermos I was bringing was full of coffee had fallen and was leaking, I reached down to pick it up and noticed I was heading for the ditch on the other side of the road. I then over corrected which started me fish tailing. I rolled the car in a 4 foot ditch and it landed on its' roof and slid for about 2 miles. Yes I was going fairly fast because I hit the gas instead of the break. This ditch also had 3 feet or so of water in it and when I came to a stop the water started to come in. I was upside down remember and disorientated, so I got the door open somehow and crawled out. Notice I didn't say I took off my seatbelt? That was because I wasn't wearing it! Now I had hit my head,which would have happened if I had my seatbelt on as well and I had a concussion in doing that I bent the handle that is on top of the window to hold on to right in. Anyway, I got out and started to walk in the direction that my stepfather was suppose to be. Then I remembered the lunch so I went back, crawled back down the ditch went into the car again and grabbed the lunch. I then realized I had not turned the engine off even though it had stalled so I turned the key off and pulled it out. This is the mental state I was in! I mean what did I think someone was going to steal it?! Anyway, I got back up onto the road just in time for my stepfather to come down the road he picked me up and brought me home. By the way I left my lights on! So with this mental state I was in if I had my seatbelt on I truly believe I would not be here to tell you about it today. I believe I would have drowned in that disgusting ditch water. So now with that said should seatbelts be manditory or optional? I do know there are cases where a seatbelt would have saved someone and that is what the police always report to the media but what about these types of cases where seatbelts have killed or could have killed people where they are not advertised on the tv!
2 people like this
14 responses
• Australia
23 Jun 07
not only is "Reaching down to pick it up" extremely stupid, it is also very selfish... just because of your stupidity and selfishness someone else could have gotten seriously injured. Back to the topic, no i do not think it should be optional, you were just VERY VERY lucky you didnt sustain great injuries. yes you said "it is their own life they are putting at risk and if they do not wear a seatbelt then it will harm no one else but them" you dont think deep do you? it harms everyone around them...and people have to clean up your corpse if you die in an accident, and will cause the road to congest ... what do you mean it wont hurt others? =.=
1 person likes this
@tmlnmr (1850)
• Canada
23 Jun 07
You are right reaching down to pick it up was stupid I can admit that. I don't see how it was selfish though. I guess I should have mentioned that we have very little traffic on these roads(where it was) and it was a dirt road. I was also quite young at the time(under 20) If there was someone coming I would not have picked it up, I would have waited until they were passed and I knew there was no traffic. As for it harming others, no one else in the car will die in the car because I do not have my seatbelt on and no one else in the car will survive because I have mine on. Their survival relies on them wearing or not wearing their seatbelts. The trauma of the accident has the affect on everyone. Oh wow a congested road that is so harmful to people! Now who is being selfish! You might not get to where you are going as fast. So sorry for holding up your life!
• Australia
24 Jun 07
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1 person likes this
@tmlnmr (1850)
• Canada
24 Jun 07
It's ok I have dealt with it all and can talk about it. It just shows how your upbringing can affect your decisions and your attitude.
@2wicelot (2948)
23 Jun 07
I know some people feel like seat belts don't actually help but they do. In many accidents that was just the thing that saved a lot of people. It at least helps protect from hitting the windsreen and dying immediately and in the case the car rolls, the person gets to remain restraint to the seat and that also helps. it is not the total solution but it at least contributes a lot.
1 person likes this
@tmlnmr (1850)
• Canada
23 Jun 07
Nice response, I agree with you but does that mean that it should be mandatory or should it still be our choice to wear it? :) Thanks for the comment.
1 person likes this
@2wicelot (2948)
23 Jun 07
It would have been nice to allow people to make up there minds. But then a lot of people would still not wear it. I think making it mandatory would always force the driver and passengers to always wear the seat belts so as to minimize injuries during accidents.
1 person likes this
@2wicelot (2948)
24 Jun 07
Exactly. And I think that is why it may have to be made mandatory. People sometimes don't know what is good for them.
1 person likes this
• United States
23 Jun 07
My neice was in an accident 6 years ago this month. She was wearing her belt when the driver went head on into a guard rail. She had to have reconstructive surgery on her bowels, because she had a hole the size of a basketball in her bowels. And the seat belt broke her back and she will never walk again.The other people in the car just had cuts and didn't even need to go to the hospital, they weren't wearing their seatbelts. However. May 5th I wrecked my car, and not wearing my seatbelt which is something I always do but I was in a hurry and late for work. I was going pretty fast because I was in a hurry. I went to go around a curve and my rear strut broke. My car hit the ditch went up in the air flipped end over end and rolled sideways. I had 2 bumps on my head, sprained my ankle, broke a small bome in the top of my foot, and my keys cut my knee open(2 stitches.) I think this was far better than what my neice got out of hers and the car didn't flip on them.
1 person likes this
• United States
24 Jun 07
My niece is great she has her miracle baby that she was told she would never have. And, she is adjusting great to being paralyzed and being a new mom. Thank you for the welcome.
1 person likes this
@tmlnmr (1850)
• Canada
24 Jun 07
That is great to hear. You are welcome.
@Debs_place (10525)
• United States
23 Jun 07
Wow, you did something really dumb and were really lucky that you lived to talk about it. 1) Let the thermos leak, do not bend down to pick something up while you are driving. Pull over. 2) You might not have hit your head if you were wearing your seatbelt. 3) I am an EMT - trust me seatbelts save lives. You were one of the few. 4) If we got rid of seatbelts the fatality rate would go up many times over.
@tmlnmr (1850)
• Canada
23 Jun 07
Yes I agree I did do something very dumb fortunately I have grown since then. I am sure you have seen many horrible things as an EMT. Thanks for the comment. :)
@Dan_ul (858)
• Romania
23 Jun 07
yep it should be mandatory... because if you had your seatbelt on you couldn't reach down for the thermos... now since you where going fairly fast and instead of a ditch you where going straight for a strut or a tree... would you be here to tell us about that?:) I don't think so... and yes I think seatbelts can save ones life... cos' there are much more chances to heat something solid than it is to dip in water;)
1 person likes this
@tmlnmr (1850)
• Canada
23 Jun 07
You make a very valid point. Although I could have reached down to get it because I have done it in my car now and that one was much smaller and more compact. I wasn't moving though. I agree with you that if I had of hit a tree it probably would have been worse. Thanks for your comment. :)
@koikoikoi (1247)
• United States
23 Jun 07
So you're saying it's okay for adults to want to kill themselves? Well excuse the people who want you to live after a car accident. Now I'm not sure if seatbelts safe your life from all car accidents... no. But that is because not all car accidents are major or life threatning. Now I'm not hear to change your mind you think what you want I'm not here to change it. No seatbelts don't always help, I agree. They only help when speeding and you lost control, when you get hit in the back or front by a car going way over the speed limit. Although I myself don't really like seatbelts, it's better safe and let me keep my money instead for paying for a ticket than sorry.
1 person likes this
• Canada
23 Jun 07
Having lost a good friend a few years back in a car accident in which she was not wearing her seatbelt, I agree with freebc where he states that Seat Belt fines aren't high enough. My friend went through the windshield of her car and suffered massive head injuries. I could never go out without my seatbelt on, and I don't feel safe if I'm not wearing it. My partner has a nasty habit of going out without his belt on, and I always remind him about it. Seatbelts have saved SO many lives. Way more than the number of lives saved because people WEREN'T wearing a seatbelt.
1 person likes this
@tmlnmr (1850)
• Canada
23 Jun 07
I hear what is being said but that doesn't mean that it should be manditory. Yes they save lives, they have also taken lives. I still think people can think for themselves and can make that decision to wear it or not. I think it is against our right to free choice to have the government say we have to wear it. :)
• India
23 Jun 07
Yes I think the seatbelts really help.During the accidents because of forgetting to tie the seatbelt there may a loss of life because the person is not tied to the seat.But if the same person is tied with the seatbelt the loss is less,the person may survive with less injuries ,so i think seatbelt helps to a greater extent.
@yuanchang (475)
• Philippines
23 Jun 07
In my opinion I think seatbelts save lots of lives everyday. It is always wise to wear seatbelts to prevent injuries(e.g. breaking through the windshield, bumping your head etc). I have experienced a lot of incidents that if it weren't for the seatbelt I could've injured myself a lot already.
1 person likes this
@tmlnmr (1850)
• Canada
23 Jun 07
I agree with you 100% I have been in situations where it has helped as well. All I am saying is I think we can decide for ourselves to make the decision to take that risk. Thanks for the comment.
@lvhughes (545)
• United States
23 Jun 07
i think it should be optional also. my aunt had a wreck and because she was short the seat belt come across her face when she went forward. we had to have a closed casket at the furneral.
1 person likes this
@tmlnmr (1850)
• Canada
23 Jun 07
Oh wow I am sorry to hear that. I have heard of some people being decapitated from them as well. Gives me shivers just thinking of it. Thanks for the comment. :)
• United States
23 Jun 07
Wow sounds like you went through quite an ordeal there! But I think that belts should be worn by anyone under the age of 18. After that then I think you should be able to do whatever you want. Kids should at least wear them or else some type of retrant, but aduts should have their choice.
1 person likes this
@tmlnmr (1850)
• Canada
23 Jun 07
I agree I have no problem with it being a law for anyone under 18. Kids jumping around causes a lot of accidents. I just don't think that the government should make the choice for adults. Thanks for the comment. :)
@blackbriar (9080)
• United States
23 Jun 07
I always wear my seatbelt and won't budge an inch until e1 riding with me puts theirs on. I've been in enough accidents to know seatbelts saves more lives than not wearing one. Now, if I can only get ppl to pay attention to the road ahead of them to avoid accidents, I would happy. I'm tired of being it from all angles by ppl that are more interested in who is talking to them or the radio.
1 person likes this
22 Jun 07
Is this a recent accident? Are you ok now? How can something so awful happen to my poor Eeyore? Did your stepfather enjoy his lunch!!!!? I sometimes think drivers take more risks when wearing their seatbelts as it makes them feel safer. I always wear mine but think it is just another traffic law that nobody here bothers about. Like not parking on double yellow lines.
@tmlnmr (1850)
• Canada
22 Jun 07
LOL No this was when I was younger. My firs ride in an ambulance though! I am not really sure if he even ate it! my mom was too busy trying to get me put in jail cause of it. I had changed him so oneandonemakesix could see what was up before and I am now trying to help freebc to get his flag waving. No worries Eeyore will be back up in a bit. :)
@yingtao (22)
• China
23 Jun 07
agree with you