buckle up, who cares if it's the law? It saves lives.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008
After riding with three of my guys friends to a Blockbuster several weeks ago it came to my attention that people my age don't wear seat belts. Now, maybe I'm being sexist but I believe that the majority of them are males. This is just based on my personal experiences of the Blockbuster trip, my sister nearly pulling over her car once when her guy friend refused to put his seat belt on, and a guy riding with me last week stating that he refuses to wear his because the government tells him to do so.

It's almost no surprise to me that in 2006, 16,975 more men than women died in motor vehicle accidents (car-accidents.com).

I've worked in a Level One Trauma center's ER for a year and I am currently rotating through it again. I cannot begin to stress the important of wearing seat belts. I know its annoying, but I have to get on my soap box for a minute.

Today I sat through a three hour trauma lecture by the Registered Nurse in charge of evaluating every trauma at my hospital. She has worked in Grady's ER, been a flight nurse for many years and works hand in hand with my hospital's head of trauma surgery. Needless to say, she knows her stuff.

She shared with us that it is six times more likely for you to be ejected from a car if you are not wearing a seat belt.
She also stated that 75% of occupants ejected from cars die.

I personally have two friends that died after being ejected from cars. Neither were wearing seat belts.

Some statistics from James Madison University's website might also make you think:

Safety Belt Statistics

One out of every five drivers will be involved in a traffic crash this year.

Approximately 35,000 people die in motor vehicle crashes each year.
About 50 percent (17,000) of these people could be saved if they wore their safety belts.

More than 90 percent of all motorists believe safety belts are good idea, but less than 14 percent actually use them.

For every one percent increase in safety belt use, 172 lives and close to $100 million in annual injury and death costs could be saved.

Safety belts when used properly reduce the number of serious traffic injuries by 50 percent and fatalities by 60-70 percent.

For maximum protection safety belts should be fastened before traveling any distance or speed. Seventy-five percent of crash deaths and injuries occur within 25 miles of home. More than half of all injury-producing motor vehicle crashes involve low speeds under 40 m.p.h.

Motorists are 25 times are more likely to be killed or seriously injured when they are "thrown clear" than when remain inside their vehicle.

A common cause of death and injury to children in motor vehicles is being crushed by adults who are not wearing safety belts. On out of four serious injuries to passengers is caused by occupants being thrown into each other.

Of every 100 children who die in motor vehicle crashes at least 80 would survive if they were properly secured in an approved child safety seat or safety belts.

An estimated 80 percent of American children area immunized against contagious diseases, but less than 10 percent are properly restrained when riding in a motor vehicle.

Pretty scary huh? Amazing that 2 seconds of your time could save your life.


Justin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Justin said...

"More than 90 percent of all motorists believe safety belts are good idea, but less than 14 percent actually use them."

Can that really be true? I don't know anyone (who I've driven with) who doesn't wear them.

Also, I think "bucket up" is an overdone prank, not the law.

My libertarian friends think that if we didn't have safety belt laws people would drive safer because they'd be more afraid of getting ejected from their cars. I think they're crazy.

Sorry 'bout the deleted comment. I messed up.

Anonymous said...

The Auburn student who was killed in a wreck last weekend had required everyone in his truck to buckle up before going off roading. When his sister asked why he wasn't following his own rule he just laughed it off...but the truck rolled, he was thrown out and he truck landed on him. Everyone else walked away. His Dad shared all this at his funeral on Monday.