While it’s kind of mean to say that people that don’t wear a seat belt must have a death wish and that perhaps those who refuse to wear one is (to those of us who do wear them) another form of natural selection, studies show that seat belts save lives. And, they not only save the lives of those who wear them, but the lives of others riding in the vehicle. Most people who don’t wear them admit that it’s because the seat belt is uncomfortable and will wrinkle their outfit. Not like going through the windshield won’t wrinkle their outfit and their head, etc.

If those non-wearers want scientific evidence, perhaps explaining how kinetic energy works in an impact and damage to soft tissue and bones at a high impact can oftentimes kill you, even with all of the crazy new safety features in cars. At a slower speed, wearing a seat belt will, at the very least, keep you in your seat where you can still control and maneuver your vehicle, rather than attempting to do it from the passenger seat or back seat where you may end up. At a higher speed, the faster you go, the more kinetic energy you and the vehicle possess. When you hit the brakes or your car comes to an abrupt stop, all this kinetic energy has to go somewhere. A small portion is released as heat (like tire friction) while most of it goes into “reshaping” your car when it hits the oncoming car (which is also reshaped into a lawsuit). But a significant amount of kinetic energy is absorbed by the body. And this is more so if the occupant is not properly restrained by a seat belt.

The latest safety features include crumple zones, air bags, crash avoidance and automatic braking systems. But these can only do so much. So, to reduce the effects of g-forces on your body, it is imperative to wear a seat belt at all times. Not only will it stop your body from colliding with the car’s interior, it can provide about a foot of extra stretching distance which can drastically reduce the amount of acute g-force exerted on your body. It will also keep you from becoming your own hood ornament.

And, it is always a good idea to practice defensive driving in order to anticipate any possible accident scenarios on the road. Avoid following too close and keep your eyes on the road by avoiding distractions.

Until next week,

Daun Thompson
Writer / Comedienne / Artist

Seat Belts Save Lives – Comedy Defensive Driving