Summer Seatbelt Safety: For Your Family’s Sake

Last updated on March 2nd, 2018 at 12:58 pm

Everyone wears a seatbeltAs the school year winds down and summer travel plans go into action, families will get in the car and drive all around this great country of ours.   Let’s face it, summer does mean the kids are out of school and usually need someplace to go before they tear the house down and getting in the car and going somewhere, anywhere is usually what happens.   But before you head out in the car this summer, whether it is for the cross country journey or the 5 minute ride to the park, please put on your seat belt.

We have all heard the sayings “Seat Belts Save Lives” or “click it or ticket”.   In 2009 the NHTSA released a study saying that over 1600 lives could be saved each year and over 22,000 serious injuries could be avoided each year if seat belt use rose to 90% in drivers and passengers in automobiles and I am here to tell you that it is more than true.  Having responded to many traffic accidents and seen the results of both wearing and not wearing a seatbelt, I can honestly say that seatbelts do save lives every day.   Let’s be honest.  How long does it take to put on a seatbelt?  A few seconds? , that does not sound too unreasonable to be part of the thousands of lives saved every year does it?.

Many states handle seatbelt laws differently.  Some states require seatbelts and some do not.  Whether your state requires it or not, before we head out onto the roadway let us think about the people in the car shall we?

The Driver – You.  Adults are the WORST offenders about not wearing seatbelts.    When you put your seat belt on, you are keeping yourself safer in case of accident and you also give a good example to the other passengers regardless of age.

The Kids – Kids are always watching us to see how we do things and what is acceptable and if you put on your seatbelt every time you get in the car then the kids will begin to model your behavior and after a while it can become an automatic response from them, no matter what car they get in.  Now smaller children may need help and may require you to click them in properly and safely before yourself.  Infants and smaller children in car seats will obviously need the help but also the children in the booster seats may need some additional help, plus a quick check and tug on the belts they put on by themselves never hurts.

Teenagers – Teenagers are some of the worst offenders of not wearing seatbelts right after adults.   Teenagers have an invincibility about them which is normal but should never be allowed to talk you out of making them put on the seatbelt regardless of the distance of the trip.

Pets –  We do not normally think about our pets when it comes to seal belt time but pets are passengers too and if the pets are coming with us in the car then there needs to be a way to make sure they are secure.   There are a number of pet friendly carries and devices for the car that make this possible.

The bottom line is that seatbelts DO save lives.   I cannot tell you how happy it makes me to look at someone who just had a car accident and tell them “good thing you were wearing your seat belt “.

Have a Great Summer, Be Safe and Buckle Up……..All of you!

Thank You

Photo credit: MoDOT PhotosCC license

About the Author

Greg Atwood is a Firefighter /Paramedic in Coral Gables Florida and works for the Coral Gables Fire Rescue. He is an American Heart Association certified instructor in BLS ( Basic Life Support ), ACLS ( Advanced Cardiopulmonary Life Support ), and PALS ( Pediatric Advanced Life Support ). Greg currently lives in Miami Florida with his beautiful wife Alexa and their 2 sons, Connor and Jake. Greg is a member of the PedSafe Expert team

Comments

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!