Seat Belts: Why You Should Wear Them

We've all heard it before, "Wear your seat belt." And then the government finally made it law. But some people still don't want to wear them. But here's my take on it, as a police officer.

First let me tell you how I "used" to think, prior to becoming an officer, and even in the early years: I couldn't care less about wearing a seat belt, and I'd find every excuse not to wear them. I would say "Well, what if I have to get into a foot chase. I don't want to be strapped in." Or "What if someone started shooting?"  The point is, I had all the excuses as well.

But here's the truth.  The more car accidents I see, the more I realized how important it was to wear my seat belt.  I've seen people's knees get blown out from minor car accidents, some as low as 35 MPH.  Here's the scenario: You're driving down the road minding your own business and some fool pulls right out in front of you, and you hit them.  Obviously you slide forward.  Two things are going to happen.  Your knees are going to hit the bottom of the dash (just under the steering column) and your face is going to slam into the steering wheel (unless of course you have air bags, and they go off).  But air bags won't protect your knees.  And this scenario is just based on lower speeds.

At higher speeds however, there are more consequences.  The first thing that comes to mind is getting thrown through your windshield.  This happens much more then people think, or even realize.  Obviously this can mean serious injury, but usually death.  I haven't seen many people survive these type of car accidents.  When they do, its usually bad news, like loss of legs, or in a wheelchair the rest of their life, etc.

Another common thing you see is the victim's wrists will bust, pushing the bone forward and out, at the wrist.  This is from not being restrained by a seat belt, and trying to hold on to the wheel at the point of impact.  The momentum however is so strong that the body keeps moving forward, and of course the wrists snap.  These of course can be prevented by wearing a seat belt.

These are just a few of the common injuries associated with not wearing your seat belt.  I think after seeing bodies that were thrown and dismembered from these auto accidents, I was pretty convinced to say the least to wear my seat belt.  But only police officers and other first responders see these things.  Take our advice, wear your seat belt.

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