My Writing...Safe as a Turtle in His Shell

Safe as a Turtle in His Shell

“Each year, more than 40,000 Americans are killed in motor vehicle crashes. The carnage on our American roadways has far eclipsed the death toll of all our wars combined. Nearly every American family has been touched in some way. In fact, traffic accidents are the number one cause of death for Americans age 5 to 34—and public health officials insist that up to half of these lives could be saved if everyone wore seat belts,”1 states UAB Publications truthfully.

     Indeed, if not only the driver but every traveler in a vehicle consistently strapped on a seat belt, America would be changed forever. Assuredly, all passengers in a car should wear a seat belt since seat belts prevent deaths, injuries, and seat belt citations.

     First, seat belts prevent the deaths of those wise enough to use them. If parents and care-givers would properly restrain children in seat belts, they could prevent approximately 80 percent of the child deaths, which motor vehicles cause.2 Buckling up definitely proves valuable! Although some think their airbag would rescue them in an accident, “an air bag increases the effectiveness of a safety belt by 40 percent, but air bags were never meant to be used in place of safety belts, since they don't protect against side impacts at all.”3 Certainly, seat belts save many more lives than airbags do; airbags exist only to protect people from banging their faces into the dashboard. Quickly tightening around my waist and shoulder, my seat belt has protected me at least once from death or serious injury. Seat belts also prevent passengers from banging into others in a vehicle or from being thrown from the car, two significant causes of death during a crash. Without a doubt, seat belts save countless lives every year, which proves a marvelous reason to use and appreciate them.

     Secondly, all drivers and passengers should fasten their seat belts to prevent injuries. “Safety should always be your number one concern,” attests the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. “Take every opportunity to maximize your safety by always wearing a seat belt whenever available, regardless of the type of vehicle you are in.”4 Preventing injuries, seat belts effectively restrain individuals in car crashes—often saving their lives. Eighty-four percent of Americans do buckle up, according to the National Safety Council5; they clearly notice the looming dangers that could arise from overlooking this safety measure. As the ancient proverb cautiously declares, “Better safe than sorry!” Undeniably, seat belts, the primary mode of safety in cars, keep people safer rather than sorrier. As more people realize the value of securing their seat belts, they prevent life-changing and possibly disabling injuries.

     Finally, all passengers wearing seat belts prevent seat belt citations. The website of Driving University emphatically agrees, “It is illegal for anyone, adult or child, to ride in the front seat of a vehicle that has seat belts without having their seat belt properly fastened,” it states unequivocally, “[or] for anyone under the age of 17 to ride in any part of a motor vehicle without a seat belt if the vehicle is equipped with them. Therefore, adults can use their discretion when riding in the back although they should always wear a seat belt anyway for safety reasons.”6 In other words, buckle up! The law orders it! The National Safety Council declares, “Thirty-one states plus the District of Columbia have primary enforcement of seat belt laws, meaning police can stop vehicles and write citations for failure to buckle up. Eighteen states have secondary enforcement, meaning police can issue a seat belt citation only after a vehicle is stopped for another reason.7 Since fines can climb steeply, up to $200 in Texas8, one does well to avoid this punishment; plainly worded, wear a seat belt! I will never forget when I first observed a “Click it or Ticket” campaign sign with a picture of an officer writing a ticket. Without a doubt, passengers in a vehicle can know that wearing one’s seat belt will remain legal.

     If people would only use their heads and their seat belts no matter where they sit in the car, every individual would prevent deaths, injuries, and seat belt citations. In my life, I find seat belts play an important role in protecting me. Why would seat belts be stationed throughout the car if we were not supposed to use them? Happily, all passengers can stay as safe as a turtle in his shell when they click these special belts into place.
Works Cited

5.      www.nsc.org

Writer's Note: I am sharing this today because the week of Memorial Day is when the Click It or Ticket Campaign is "campaigning" for seat belt safety and awareness. According to an internet article, "'With heavy traffic expected for the Memorial Day holiday weekend, it’s crucial that we encourage drivers now to make sure that all passengers are properly restrained whenever they travel,' State Police Commissioner Frank Noonan said. 'I’m again directing our troopers to adopt a zero-tolerance policy toward violations of the state’s seat belt and child passenger restraint laws during this campaign period.'"

     If you were looking for a post from me a tad bit more patriotic (but what's more patriotic than safety enforcements/encouragements?), check out my 4th of July post from 2012.

     Enjoy the rest of your long weekend!


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