No matter what your excuse may be for not wearing a seatbelt, the police have heard it. This month’s SGI traffic safety spotlight is seatbelt use, and Sgt. Dallyn Holmstrom, Detachment Commander of the Carlyle RCMP, has compiled a top ten list of excuses he’s heard from drivers who failed to buckle up. You can read the list below. Sgt. Dallyn says one of the easiest things you can do to help keep yourself and your passengers safe in the event of a collision is to wear your seatbelt.
SGI spokesperson, Tyler McMurchy says seatbelts have been the law in Saskatchewan since July of 1977, but all these years later, there are still people who don’t wear them. During last year’s traffic safety spotlights, police reported more than 5,200 tickets handed out for not wearing a seatbelt. McMurchy points out , these are just the people who have been caught, “And more concerning than the people who are getting tickets for lack of seatbelt use is the people who don’t get a ticket because they died as a result of a collision in which they were not buckled.”
1. “I’m a careful driver. I don’t need a seat belt.”
Even if that were true, being the world’s best driver doesn’t guarantee you’ll never be in a collision. You’re not the only one on the road. There are other vehicles (some driven by drivers who may be less careful than you). There’s wildlife. There’s icy patches and road hazards. Good drivers get in collisions, too.
2. “Wearing a seat belt makes me feel restrained.”
That’s the point. You’re restrained. When a vehicle comes to a sudden stop, being restrained means your soft body won’t keep moving until it hits something solid and unforgiving. Objects in motion tend to stay in motion.
3. “Seat belts are uncomfortable.”
Here’s what’s super uncomfortable: Slamming chest-first into a steering column, being partially ejected as your vehicle rolls on top of you, or even just being tossed around your vehicle like the last peanut in a can. If you don’t like wearing a seatbelt, you’re really not going to like being strapped onto a stretcher.
4. “I forget to buckle up sometimes.”
That’s weird, since your vehicle almost certainly has some sort of buzz or ding to remind you to put it on.
5. “I’m too big to wear a seat belt.”
If you fit into a vehicle, you can wear a seatbelt.
6. “I’m not travelling very far or very fast.”
A collision can happen close to home. And you don’t have to be travelling at highway speeds for a crash to severely injure you. Coming to a sudden stop at 50 km/h turns a 70 kg person into a 1,400 kg projectile. Even if you work out, you’re not strong enough to brace yourself for that impact.
7. “I want to be able to exit the car quickly.”
Not wearing a seatbelt in a collision means that you will exit the vehicle quickly. Unfortunately, it could be through the windshield… facefirst.
8. “I don’t want to get stuck inside the car during a crash.”
You don’t want to be ejected. Trust us on this one. You’re two to three times more likely to die if you’re ejected from your vehicle. The body of your vehicle is meant to absorbthe energy of an impact and keep the passenger compartment intact, but you need to buckle up for that to keep you safe. Not wearing your seatbelt does increase the chance you’ll be knocked unconscious or physically incapacitated in a crash, and unable to free yourself.
9. “Seatbelts cause injuries during crashes.”
Think about it: If you’re in a severe enough collision that a properly worn seatbelt bruises you, the injuries that you would have suffered if you
weren’t wearing it would have been worse. A lot worse.
10. “I’m driving a bigger vehicle that will protect me in case of a crash.”
If your jacked-up truck hits a tree, a ditch, or even a cute little Fiat going the opposite direction, you’re still going to wish you wore a seatbelt.