Even Loving Parents Forget This Safety Rule

It's amazing, really.


We're certain that you know at least one set of parents who absolutely love and adore their children, would do anything for them, and would never dream of harming them in any way.

Yet, whenever they all climb into the family sedan, those very same parents never demand that their children buckle their seat belts. Or worse, they let their kids sit in their laps as they drive. Or climb into the bed of the pickup truck.

What on Earth are they thinking?

Our only guesses are: nothing at all, or "It will never happen to me." And when it does happen to them, it's a pretty sure bet that they'll be thinking, "Why me?"

Fact: From 1982 through 1998, safety belts saved an estimated 107,234 lives of passenger vehicle occupants over the age of four.

Part of what clouds these parents' thinking are the countless mental myths human beings tend to invent in order to justify their actions or lack of actions. Let's debunk a few right now.

"Safety belts aren't needed when traveling at low speeds or when going on a short trip." The truth is that 80 percent of all car crashes occur at speeds less than 40 miles per hour. Three out of four crashes causing death occur within 25 miles from home.

"I'm strong and I could brace myself or hold onto a child on my lap if a crash occurred." There's no way your arms and legs can brace you against that kind of collision. Holding onto a child on your lap is like holding onto a speeding bullet: impossible. The force of impact at just 10 miles per hour is equivalent to the force of catching a 200 pound bag of cement from a first story window.

"If I wear a safety belt, I might be trapped in a burning or submerged car!" Less than one-half of one percent of all injury producing collisions involve fire or submersion. And if you are involved in a crash without your safety belt, you might be stunned or knocked unconscious by striking the interior of the car, significantly reducing the chances of escape.

"It takes too much time and trouble to fasten my safety belt."

Stop for a moment and consider the time and trouble it takes to prepare and attend a funeral for someone you loved very, very much.

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