Every day, every single day
while out and about, I see a family in a car with unrestrained kids. Sometimes they're in the back, sometimes not. But more often than not, they aren't wearing seatbelts. And every time, I want to get out of my car when we're stopped at a light, pull the parent out of the driver's seat, and beat them senseless. Don't you realize you're putting their lives in jeopardy?
I want to screech at them. Because every few weeks, I see a story on the news like this one:http://www.thecarolinachannel.com/news/3987886/detail.html
And I have to ask myself: how many people have to be ejected and die in car accidents before people will start insisting that their kids buckle up?
I don't even think about it. Putting on my seatbelt when I get in the car is as much of a habit for me as putting on my socks when I get dressed in the morning. I don't think about it, I just do
it. Driving to the store without a seatbelt on would feel as unnatural to me as walking to the mailbox without a shirt on.
What's the reasoning, people? Do you think it's too hard to get them to wear it? Do you think it won't actually protect them in a crash? Are you just too lazy to do something that takes two seconds and could save their lives? Or are you really dumb and arrogant enough to believe it won't happen to your kids? (And don't even give me that bullshit argument about "what if my car goes off a bridge into the water and my seatbelt jams." It's bullshit. That's happened maybe once or twice EVER, but EVERY DAMN DAY people get ejected and killed in accidents they otherwise would have survived had they been belted in. I for one know where to place my odds.)
I suspect a lot of it's cultural. Here in the South, people in general seem to be very anti-authority, especially when it comes to government. This prevailing attitude of "the guvmint can't tell ME what to do, dadgummit!" ends up being manifested as tiny acts of rebellion -- opposing mandatory seatbelt laws, or mandatory motorcycle helmet laws, etc. If I want to kill myself in a pointless traffic accident, it's mah God-given right to do so, and the guvmint can't stop me!
seems to be the reasoning. So by extension: The guvmint can't tell ME how to raise MY chillen!
So watch me shake my tiny fist at The Man and not put my kids in their car seats. Power to the people! *eyeroll*
If you're an adult, and you decide to do something boneheaded and get yourself killed, that's your right. But most kids don't know any better. It's our job as parents to protect them, whether they want to be protected or not. We owe it to our kids to do everything we can to keep them safe. And if you're going to insist that your kids wear seatbelts, the best way to get them in the habit is to wear them yourself. But most people in this state don't do that, either.
And today when Zip and I go out holiday shopping, we'll see kids bouncing around in the back of a car. And I'll give that same disgusted sigh, and he'll say, "I know, I know" in that same resigned tone, and in another two or three weeks we'll see yet another story on the news about people who would still be alive but for that one simple act.