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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

On Seat Belt Safety

We all know how important it is to wear a seat belt by now right? 
Please say you do
If you are someone who chooses to not wear your seat belt I'm going to advise you to just click off of this post now, otherwise there is a good chance you'll be offended by the end.

Why are you not buckling your children up in seat belts and/or safety seats? 

Last week there was a horrific accident near my home. A woman was driving her 10 year old son home from a doctors appointment (he had a heart condition). 
He was in the back seat and he was not wearing his seat belt. 
The "mother" ran a red light and crashed into an oncoming vehicle. 
Her son? Killed at the scene. 

I want to have sympathy for this family, I really do, but I just can't find any. 
There is ZERO reason why this child should have been without his seat belt! 

Now - I wasn't in that car and I don't know what was going on. The report doesn't state whether or not the mother (driver) was wearing a seat belt. She was however flown by life flight to the hospital and because of that I'll assume she wasn't wearing one. Concerning the child - is it possible that the mother told the child to buckle up and he didn't do it? Is it possible that while en route the child unbuckled himself? 
Sure, it's possible. 

As a parent it is your responsibility to ensure your child's safety. I always wear my seat belt. It sets a good example for my children. My vehicle doesn't move until everyone is properly buckled. If someone in my vehicle (adult or child) refuses to buckle or unbuckles - the car stops. 

I may be overly sensitive about this subject, but with good reason. I never had the chance to meet my maternal grandmother. When my mother was 15 years old her mother passed away in a car accident. A drunk driver ran a red light and hit the car that she was riding in. She wasn't wearing her seat belt and she was ejected from the car. 

When I was 16 years old I was riding in the car with my mom and baby brother in the back seat. A teenage driver ran a red light and t-boned us. We were all properly restrained and we walked away from the accident with minimal injuries. 
It scared the hell out of me

Last year, my husband and I were going out to eat with our children when we were rear ended. My babies were in the backseat. Of course they were in safety seats and were properly restrained. As a parent, there is no greater fear than the fear of something horrible happening to your children. Everyone walked away, but had they not been in their seats and buckled? I can't imagine. 

I see people all the time riding in vehicles with babies in their laps. I see parents putting their child in the car and not taking the few seconds needed to buckle them up.

There is no excuse. Isn't your child's life worth it? 

Just a heads up: I'm the woman who will report you to the authorities if you choose to not buckle your children.

Seat belts save lives people. 

***Note*** I wrote this post last week when this incident was still fresh on my mind. Randomly tonight while getting in the car after a dinner out my 5 year old struck up a conversation about seat belt safety.

Addison: "Okay, is everyone buckled up? Because you know we all have to buckle up before the car can move!"

We continued to talk about why seat belts are necessary (they save lives) and who should wear seat belts (everyone) and when they should wear them (all the time, every time!).

I am one proud mama. I have one very happy heart  knowing that I have shown my children how to be responsible in this way and knowing that they have retained this information.
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  1. When I was in high school, there were many times when I wouldn't wear my seat belt. Now, it's just a given. Being military and having to go through the gate to base multiple times a day, I wear it. They check whether or not you have it on. I don't know what would happen if I didn't, I've never chanced it. My kids know to wear theirs. It's just a given that they don't argue with.

  2. Growing up, no one in my family ever wore seat belts. It wasn't until they started getting ticketed that my parents finally did. My grandmother to this day just holds it and no amount of telling her will get her to do so. I started wearing one once I had my own car at 16 and am like you, everyone wears it or we don't move.

  3. OH gosh, that is so terrifying. It hurts my heart to know how many children and adults pass away unnecessarily
    because they are not wearing seat belts. This also brings to mind how many people I see riding bikes without helmets. Dangerous!

  4. I would feel naked without my seatbelt! I heard there's this older lady in the community who gets rides with people and doesn't buckle. I would not feel comfortable driving her around!

  5. I really wish there were some sort of alert for the backseats that showed which seatbelts were buckled and which aren't. My kids know we can't go anywhere without them buckled. And will yell at me to stop if they aren't buckled yet(sometimes my youngest will fight getting his seatbelt fastened, but if I start moving in our driveway, that makes him realize I'm not playing around and we really are leaving, so he'll buckle).

    But it's my fear that one will unbuckle for whatever reason in the car- maybe to get a dropped toy or something- and then not rebuckle. And I won't know and we get into an accident... it's a nightmare to think of.


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