Thought Leadership

“Don’t wear seat belts for safety”

"I would rather be in charge of my choices"

April 5, 2013
KEYWORDS belt / safety / seat
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ISHN Guest BlogI read your rules article in the March 2013 issue of ISHN and would add that someone should point out the dangers of seat belts. My philosophy is that everything in life is a trade off. You say wear the beat belt for safety. I say don't wear the seat belt for safety.

There are three things that make the seat belt unsafe. They are fire, water, and just being upside down.

First, with fire, you will be stuck in the belt and unable to remove yourself. I had a step brother who was coming back from Los Angeles to Modesto, California. On the way, he fell asleep and crashed into a tree. His pickup burst into flames. A young man, at a service station close by, came to the rescue. He opened the pickup door and reached in to pull out my step brother. The fire was too hot, and he had to back off and watch my step brother burn to death. So much for safety of the belt!

Some years later a group of six young people were playing in a Jeep in the Yuba River at Marysville, California. The Jeep turned upside down in the river. The only young people to survive were the two that were not belted. The other four drowned. So much for safety of the belt!

I just read in a truck magazine that some guy was out rock climbing alone and flipped his truck upside down. He forgot to bring his seat belt cutter and was locked in and could not relieve his seat belt. He barely came up with something to saw through the belt and save himself. If he had not come up with something to saw through his belt he would have been stuck there until who knows when. So much for safety of the elt!

Do you know of a report of the statistics comparing deaths by seat belts to people saved by seat belts, or is everyone just talking off the top of their heads? It rarely gets reported that someone died like in the stories I gave you above.

My point being, wearing a seat belt might have its place, but not wearing one has its place also. Again, everything in life is a trade off. I would rather be in charge of my choices, but I know that isn't going to happen when you have these rulers telling us how to live our lives.

By the way, I am 78 years old and have never found a time that I needed a seat belt. I have, also, raced motorcycles for 63 years and have never found a time that a helmet saved me from anything. Helmets, by the way, only protect someone to the speed of 13 miles an hour and yet they too are demanded. Just as seat belts, helmet wearers die too. Do you know of anyone that rides a motorcycle that slowly?

Please tell the other side of the story and the dangers of seat belt usage.


Richard Fern


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