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vicrider

Harp on those kids about seatbelts

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My kids live out of state so can't guarantee they use them all the time but wife and I do and they did when we were with. I am a believer in freedom and personal choice and put thousands of miles on motorcycles without a helmet, though I encourage their use. Seatbelts though I am adamant about and here's a couple of reasons why.

 

A few years ago our 22 year old nephew was driving to work in the morning and fell asleep. Rolled his Mom's truck, thrown from truck, shattered a few bones, crushed his face in, several years of rehab and he's just now trying to transition from wheelchair to walker and has permanent brain damage. He will never have the life he used to have being a fishing buddy of mine, a true hunter, state skeet shooting champ, and hiked the mountains of CO for elk with his Dad.

 

A week ago our 19 year old niece was just driving a few miles home from her friends. Swerved for deer, lost control, took on a tree sliding sideways right into a tree. Busted leg in two places, broke arm, shattered orbital bones around eye, and suffered brain trauma. How bad she is going to be and how long and complete her recovery is now just beginning to be evaluated. She is just now beginning to recognize people.

 

Both of these crashes were within a few miles of their homes and why wear a seatbelt for that couple of miles? How things would have been if they'd have been belted is always open to question but I'm sure either would change some bruised or broken ribs from the belt versus the recovery they're going through.

 

I believe in choice as adults but I will harp on seatbelts from youth on hoping it carries into adulthood.

 

Sermon over,

Nick

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"New Hampshire is the only state that has no enforceable laws for the wearing of seat belts in a vehicle."

 

Except for that State ... it's the law that you have to wear seat belts. It's one of those laws that people think don't apply to them, like speed limits. As far as I am concerned, if you're speeding, not wearing a belt, texting/driving in a State where it's illegal ... you're a criminal, you just haven't been caught, yet.

 

I'm a firm believer in seat belts, too, Nick. No offense meant towards you or your family, but people who don't buckle up, deserve whatever they get.

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We won't start the car until everyone in the vehicle is buckled up, including the back seat. Even though states have a law about seat belts, some states classify it as secondary charge and will not pull you over just because of no belt, there has to be another reason for the traffic stop.

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NC is really strict about seat belt usage. they run "Click It or Ticket" roadblocks all of the time. If a state trooper,sheriff or police officer sees you with no belt on,any time, you get a ticket,Period

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I agree with both Nick and Mike. Seatbelts should always be worn. Most newer cars have built in warnings that there are occupied seats, without fastened seat belts (at least in the front seats,) With all the new driver safety innovations, it is entirely possible for all auto makers to disable starting the car when the seat belts in any occupied seats are not fastened.

 

 

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Nick I can't begin to express my feelings about your nephew and niece. What a terrible situation. I hope for the best possible outcome for them and your family. As you and many many others are so sadly aware of it's not just the victim that is affected if something happens. So you can stand on a soap box as long as you want.

 

Before I was born my father used to race rally. One time he rolled his car, it went over three times before it came to rest. He walked away with some minor bruises and scratches. When I was growing up wearing a seat belt was one of those rules that just wasn't broken, period, the implication was that if I didn't wear one then I wouldn't need to wait for an accident to come to an untimely end. While my father can be rather difficult he is not particularly strict nor did he hit, but that was the one of the few things that would get him as serious as it gets. When my father taught me to drive and he insisted that I learn to drive at speed, corner, and brake hard etc.. He thinks kids (of all ages) are going to do that anyway and they might as well learn to do it right. Those kinds of things he doesn't have an issue with (within reason). But not wear a seat belt, well... So when I started driving in High School it never even dawned on me to not continue wearing a seat belt and I even insisted that anyone riding in my car would wear one too. Once I was a hairs breath away from making my best friend at the time get out and walk home. Cell phones were few and far in between and they were also the size of a cement block back them so he would have been walking for real. He was pissed (so was I by then), but I figure better pissed off than dead. To this day I feel really uncomfortable without a seat belt on, even after ten years of creeping down my own driveway to open the gate without a belt on it still feels weird so I often put the thing on anyway. Once I get back in from closing the gate behind the truck on it goes even if I'm just crossing my dead end dirt road to visit the neighbors. The neighbors think I'm nuts, I tell them there are much more valid reasons to think that. Funny, I'm one of the very few people that live out here that hasn't put a car in the ditch yet they wonder why I want to wear a seat belt while still "in the neighborhood".

 

Swamp

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I'm gonna add to please wear helmets when riding bikes, etc., And make sure your kids (including adult kids) do, too.

 

Back in August I had the unfortunate experience of covering a large gash in a 27 year old bicyclist's head and holding it in place waiting 5-10 minutes for an ambulance. Mangled and twisted body, and blood gushing from his head and upper arm. He was spasming uncontrollably until he came to. He had a pulse when they took him away but his face, body, and I assume his brain may never recover fully, if he even survived. (HIPPA prevents me from finding out what happened to him.)

 

One of the very few things he was able to say was, "my parents wouldn't buy me a helmet." He was pretty delusional at that point, in pain and writhing, trying to hit me with his mangled arm because he thought he couldn't breathe and he wanted to get away. However irrational he was and sounded, he was right that he was not wearing a helmet and that he would have been much better off if he had been wearing one.

 

Stupid, thoughtless, innocent mistakes; sometimes they have huge, life changing (maybe ending) consequences.

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When I'm snowmobiling I always have a helmet. I should really have protective gear when I'm skiing, because on time my skis got hung up, and my face slammed hard onto a tree. Left a decent size mark. It's luckily healed up now.

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I am a firm believer in seatbelts, and have worn them since I started driving.

 

However, I have been in exactly *one* serious car accident, and for some reason wasn't wearing a seatbelt that evening. I was the passenger, my buddy was taking me for a ride in his new Trans Am (this was a mid 70's car, when cubic inches still ruled). We lost control in a curve, and went off the road sideways doing close to 100 MPH. My window shattered as we went through the trees, broadside. When we stopped, my door was jammed, so I just hopped right out of the hole where the window used to be. My only injury was a bunch of glass pieces in my forearm from the initial explosion of the window.

 

I look back on that day, and often wonder how neither one of us didn't get killed. We both walked away, literally, with a few scratches.

 

Am I advocating for not using your seatbelt, because I got lucky one time? Not at all. Matter of fact, I honestly can't remember a single time since, almost 40 years later, that I haven't buckled up, whether I'm driving or riding as a passenger. I still don't know why I wasn't wearing my seatbelt that night, or how I lived to tell the story.

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I started driving in an era where the first thing you did when you bought a car was to tuck the seat belts between the seats never to be seen again. For about the last 25 years I've religiously worn a seat belt and everybody else in the same car must wear a seat belt as well. I will not drive with people who won't wear a seat belt. Makes no sense to be safely strapped in with your seat belt only to have your buddy become a 200 lb missle of fat and bones Slamming into me as they are being violently tossed about the inside of the car.

 

My observations are the vast majority of people wear their seat belts but there are always a few.

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In some states if someone in your vehicle even an adult isn't wearing their seat belt and you're in an accident at fault or not and they die you can be charged with manslaughter.

 

Yes tier you should wear a helmet sking, if you're a halfway decent skier you can easily aproch snowmobile or motorcycle speeds and snow is soft but lots of things in and around it aren't, trees, rocks, ice.

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Wearing a seat belt, or for that matter a helmet when on a motorcycle, is just a common sense thing IMO. To not wear either is just not smart at all. The way people drive today is just flat out ridiculous so you never know if that 6 block drive to the corner store might end up in someone texting and not paying attention slamming into you at speed. I can't remember what year they passed the seat belt law here in Michigan, but I remember them doing it, it's been a long long time now.

 

What really blows my mind is that just a few years ago they took the motorcycle helmet law off the books, which I think is just flat out stupid. If you don't wear a helmet when riding then you should be issued a shirt that says "organ donor" on it with your bike registration. Don't get me wrong I'm all for freedom of choice, when it is sensible! To choose not to wear a helmet when riding with the way people drive these days is just putting an expiration date on your life. I know of two people in the last 5 yrs that died on bikes due to head injuries sustained during somewhat minor accidents which most likely would not have happened had they been wearing a helmet.

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My older brother and I had it drilled into us even before we started driving to always wear our seatbelts. When I was 20, we were travelling home in crummy weather, came upon a sharp curve and the road went one way, my truck went the other. The front end of the truck plowed into the bank and we flipped end over end, then rolled 2 more times and landed upside down. When we stopped, we were both hanging upside down from our seatbelts, in an otherwise totally demolished truck. After popping the seatbelts, dropping to the ceiling/ground, we both crawled out and other than some bumps, minor cuts and bruises, we both were very thankful to be alive. Yes, my family and I never go anywhere without wearing seatbelts.

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