Importance of Wearing a Seatbelt

Submitted By

Jennifer Andrade Koziol
Rhode Island Department of Health, Rhode Island
August 7, 2013

The story I will tell is about the importance of wearing a seatbelt.

This tragedy happened about two years ago. It was the beginning of summer. Four high school girls were on their way to the beach one morning in broad day light. They were going the speed limit, doing nothing wrong... No alcohol or distracted driving were involved. As they were driving down route 95, the front driver-side tire blew out. The car sharply veered to the left. To compensate, the driver cut the wheel to right. The driver lost control of the car and the vehicle went over the right-side median, flipping several times.

Two of the girls were wearing their seatbelts; two were not. One girl was fully ejected and the car rolled over her body. She was found dead at the scene of the crash. It is unclear if she died from the impact of the ejection or from the car rolling over her body. One girl was partially ejected and was killed from the impact of the rollover.

The two girls that were wearing their seatbelts unbuckled, got up, and walked away from the crash, completely unscathed (physically speaking).

The reason I tell this story is because when I ask people why they do not wear their seatbelts, a common response is: “I am a very careful driver” or “I am very aware of myself and other drivers when I am on the road.” This is an example of a situation where it does not matter how cautious or skilled of a driver you are. In some cases, the only thing that will save your life is a seatbelt.

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