Safety corner: What's your excuse?

  • Published
  • By Ron Davis
  • 82 Training Wing Safety Office
Most people on Sheppard wear their seat belts. However, there are still some that don't.

If you are one that doesn't use your seat belt, I have one question for you: what's your excuse?

Do you think seat belts aren't needed on short trips? Ridiculous. Eight out of 10 accidents occur at speeds less than 40 mph and three of every four injury causing accidents happen within 25 miles of home. People not wearing seat belts have been killed in accidents that happened at only 12 mph.

Another excuse - you're safer "out" of the wreckage? Safer from what? The chances of fatal injuries are 25 times greater if you're thrown out of a vehicle.

Do you think there is too much time wasted in getting them fastened? This doesn't hold too much stock since it only takes two to five seconds to fasten your belt. And, by the way, it's better to wrinkle your clothes than your body.

Are you worried about being submerged in water? Less than one in 200 injury-related crashes involve submersion in water. Even if your car does go underwater, you will keep alert and sharp by remaining belted into your seat, instead of being tossed around the car and maybe even knocked unconscious.

You're a good driver so you don't need one, right? Wonderful - wouldn't it be nice if everyone was a safe driver? Defensive driving is looking out for the other guy and protecting yourself. It's a proven fact that seatbelt use helps you maintain control of the vehicle when making an evasive move ... it keeps you in place behind the wheel and in control. Use the belts.

It's your neck, so who cares? Your loved ones will care. And if unrestrained, you become a hazard to others in the vehicle by becoming a moving object. Give them a break and wear your seat belt.

There's another list I can make - the list of accidents where people survived but were severely injured because they weren't wearing seat belts. I won't put you through that because it would be one long, gruesome read.

So let me ask you again; what's your excuse for not wearing a seat belt?