With every release concerning a fatal vehicle crash, I see the same statement over and over and over again. "The victim died at the scene" or "The victim was not wearing a seat belt."
In my own estimation, about 95 percent of the releases issued by LSP are of motor vehicle accidents and in 99.9 percent of those, someone died in the crash because they were not wearing a seat belt. The ones who lived, were wearing their seat belts.
I think to myself, why? Why weren't these people wearing this lifesaving apparatus?
Imagine if these same folks were told that swimming across a tank filled with man-eating sharks enough times, sooner or later, they'd get eaten alive. I bet they wouldn't do it.
You see, choosing to not wear your seat belt, in my opinion, is tempting fate and certain death. It taunts the powers that be: Look at me...I'm free-wheelin' it today, God!
If it comes down to you vs. the other driver of a vehicle, both traveling at high rates of speed, you collide, and you're not wearing your seat belt, who do you think will win the jackpot of life?
Why do people take this unnecessary risk? Why do people think they are invincible? Why are people so selfish?
Yes, selfish. I went there. I believe not wearing your seat belt is an act of selfishness of mammoth proportions.
It's selfish, I believe, because while you're only concerned with wrinkling that new shirt, or feeling free and unrestricted, you won't be the one who suffers, because you'll be dead. It'll be your little girl in the third-grade left without her daddy or your twin sister left with a giant hole in her heart that never heals and part of her soul is missing or your parents who have been dealt the cruelest hand on Earth - the act of burying a child.
Escaping a violent crash, no matter how horrific, will be the least of your worries if you're "trapped" by your seat belt, which is another popular excuse, by the way.
If you're not wearing your seat belt, your chance of "escape" is high...through the windshield or window when you're ejected at lightning-speed from your somersaulting vehicle.
Ask any firefighter, police officer or EMS responder what it's like to work the scene of a crash involving a person not wearing their seat belt. It's not a pretty story. It's gruesome and stomach-churning. They too must shake their heads in hopeless despair at all the unnecessary deaths they see due to lack of seat belt use.
Seat belts are supposed to be restricting...that's the point! It keeps you from being tossed around like a rag doll in a shark's mouth and prevents your escape in the event of a car crash. Oh, yeah, it's also the law!
The statistics are in favor of the those of us who do wear seat belts. Rarely, does a seat belt wearer die in a crash, and if they do, it's not because they weren't wearing a seat belt, but because the wreckage was so vast, nothing could have prevented it. Trust me when I say, those press releases are rare.
I think of my nieces and nephews who are approaching driving age or are already driving and a cold, debilitating fear creeps through my veins...for I could not bare to lose another family member to this senseless, unnecessary act of inviting death to your door.
Yes, I know all too well those feelings I described before and can tell you, first-hand, losing someone to a tragedy changes you. Losing someone to a tragedy that could have been prevented by the simple click of a belt...well, that hardens you. It angers you. It jades you.
My brother would have survived his crash and not been ejected through the driver's side window, not suffered massive head trauma, not left his two small daughters behind, his big sister, his loving parents and his many, many friends had he just worn his seat belt.
His Chevy Avalanche was found right side up, the frame cracked, his insurance papers resting neatly on the backseat after finding their way there from the glove box.
Go ahead, try to convince me seat belts don't save lives.
Please, I urge you, the next time you're behind the wheel of a vehicle, wear your seat belt - if not for yourself, then for the many people who love you, cherish you and want you around for a long, long time.
Trust me, after wearing it a while, you'll feel naked without it. You won't even notice that you're wearing it...until the day it saves your life.
Click it or risk losing it.