SeatbeltWhat do you write about seatbelts today? They were around when I started driving (1974), so everyone knows about them. The fine for not wearing one is expensive ($138), but you probably know that too. Road Safety Vision 2010 sets a target wearing rate of 95% by 2010 (currently it varies from 68% to 95% in our patrol area). Never put a small child in a seating position with an airbag (in a child restraint using the seatbelts in the back seat). Yes, you probably already know all these things.

You know of a friend of a friend of a friend who would have died in a collision if they would have been wearing a seatbelt you say? I won't argue over that one either as anything is possible. What I will point out is that if this is your reason for not wearing a seatbelt, you are likely choosing the short side of the odds compared to dying because you were wearing a seatbelt. If we all thought about life logically, no one would buy lottery tickets either as the chances of winning are that slim as well.

Well, let's try for a new slant on an old topic. Sit down in your driver's seat and look at your steering wheel. You will likely find the letters SRS (or something similar) printed on it. This stands for Supplemental Restraint System, which is another word for your airbag. You all know that the airbag does it's job with a small explosion.

Now think about being involved in a frontal collision that wouldn't produce major injury, even if you were not wearing your belt. Where do you end up during the collision? Chest and face against the steering wheel, right? What happens to you when the airbag deploys? If you are lucky, not much, but if you aren't lucky you are seriously injured or killed by the airbag, not the collision. One of the seatbelt's other jobs is to hold you in proper position for the airbag to save you.

While you are sitting in the driver's seat, reach over to the right, open the glove box and take out your owner's manual. Read the section on occupant restraints, what you learn might save your life.


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