Seat Belts: Forced or Choiced?
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Should wearing a seat belt be your own choice or forced by law?
My own choice.
51%
 51%  [ 25 ]
Forced by law.
48%
 48%  [ 24 ]
Total Votes : 49

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Thu Aug 19, 2010 11:39 am
Shocked Not wearing a seatbelt is so alien to me. I live in Sweden, and while it is mandatory to wear it not many people reflect on it, because according to statistics between 90-95% of all people wear it. It's just something you do.

I think Lanatin put it best. Seat belts are one of many safety measures, and are specifically to protect you AND others in cases of head on and rear end collisions. My teacher used the example of driving at 30 km/h (around 18 mph), a common speed here when driving in a neighborhood or by a school, and told us the force of being hit in that speed was the same as hitting the ground after falling from the third floor. It's enough to send you flying either at the person in front of you or out through the carwindow, hitting either the asphalt or the car in front of you. And then there's the rest of the traffic...

If you're not going to use the seat belt, make sure you're the only one at risk in case something happens.

As for falling into water: Any story I've heard about that has never put importance on if the person was wearing a seat belt or not. It was always about if they were able to open a door/window before the pressure differential was too great and if they were able to stay calm. The Mythbusters episode "Underwater Car" is very informative in this regard.

I think it all boils down to common sense. Keep the speed limit. Slow down when there's a risk of slippery roads, not only when it's cold but also when it's raining or really hot (the tar comes up from the asphalt). Don't drive too close to the edge or the car in front of you. Keep an eye on your fellow drivers. Most importantly, keep your attention on the road and avoid anything that lessens your concentration.

Fehvy, in Sweden they've also proved that driving when tired is as dangerous as driving drunk.

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Sat Aug 21, 2010 6:24 pm
I am actually split on seat belt laws. I feel that adults have the right to choose for themselves whether or not they want to wear a seat belt. However, it should be mandatory for everyone under 18 to wear seat belts. That being said, if you choose to not wear a seat belt and you are permanently disabled in a crash (or killed), you should lose all rights to compensation. That means your insurance won't cover your endless medical bills or rehab and you lose all disability and social security payments from the government and you have no right to sue anyone for any kind of compensation. If you die, it means your family will be responsible for all your bills on their own. Your life insurance will be considered void. Why? Because you chose to risk your life and serious injury by not wearing an item that has been proven to save lives. The rest of us shouldn't have to pay for your choice.

Also, any parent that doesn't make sure their children are safely restrained deserves a large fine and possible revocation of driving privileges. Feel free to endanger your own life, but, as a parent, you should be obligated to do every possible thing in your power to protect your children.

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Lady-Sir Amers of the Silent Shadows
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Sat Aug 21, 2010 6:29 pm
For me, wearing a seatbelt is an absolute must. It's a safety measure in place to protect you, because accidents do happen, and you have to be prepared, even if you don't expect it to happen to you. It's true that sometimes seatbelts do more harm than good, and yes, sometimes even a seatbelt can't save your life; however, it's impossible to know whether you're going to be in a situation where a seatbelt will be helpful and where it will be harmful, and when it comes down to it, seatbelts do more good than harm. According to statistics collected by Statistics Canada (I'm Canadian), from 1990 - 2000, approximately a thousand lives were saved every year by seatbelts, the cumulative number of lives saved by seatbelts totalled at over 11,000 from 1990 - 2000. If any of those people hadn't been wearing seatbelts, they would have lost their lives in those accidents.

For me, the risk of not wearing a seatbelt is just too much of a gamble. Maybe I'll be one of the few who dies because of wearing a seatbelt, but the chances are better that I'll be someone who might die if I don't wear a seatbelt. As Lanatin said, everything in life is a gamble. And if I have to gamble anyway, I'm going to side with the odds, because your life is the most serious gamble that you'll ever make.
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Sun Aug 22, 2010 12:13 am
"What is your view on seat belts? Should it be a choice for people to wear them or should it be forced in by laws and such? "

I also believe that it should be a choice. Sure, I always wear one but I know of several people who don't wear them who have been saved from certain death after they were thrown through the windshield upon impact and flown from the site of danger, to walk away with nothing but a few scrapes and bruises. At the same time though, I also know of people that have been saved from a similar crash because wearing their seatbelt prevented them from being thrown around the car and badly injuring themselves or others.

However, seatbelts were designed to try and prevent excessive injuries (though they don't always work) by preventing the user from being flung around the car during an accident and potentially being killed by hitting hard elements of the car, or killing another person by hitting them too hard.

However, I don't agree with "lap belts" (which are the ones that only go around your waist). After watching a television show that had a special episode on what happened to a woman in a car crash when she was wearing a lap belt rather than the normal "three points" seatbelt. When she was flung forward upon impact, the seatbelt DID do its job and stop her from going far, but unfortunately because it was a lap belt it was focused at the soft tissue of her stomach. As a result, she was sliced nearly clean in half. All of her internal organs around that area were either sliced open, or squished against other organs. She survived, but she had to go through several surgeries to correct what had been done to her inner organs.

However, I do believe that all children should be made to wear seatbelts, because during accidents they're the most vulnerable passengers. Statistics show that children who are restrained during a crash suffer less injuries than those who are unrestrained.

Besides, imaging if you hadn't restrained your child and during the crash they'd been flung through a window or the windshield, or crashed heavily into the seat infront of them. The injuries would likely be a LOT worse than they would if the child had been wearing a belt. However - just don't have them in lap belts (once again) because they could seriously injure them.

But as a side note, I also don't believe in having a car with airbags for both the back seats and the front for the reason that when airbags are deployed, they are deployed with such a force that they could crush a small child and injure them more than they would be otherwise, so children should definitely be kept away from potentially dangerous situations such as that...
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Sun Sep 05, 2010 5:46 am
I have to somewhat agree with you, Ryvva. I do not like being told to do. I admit that. I hate it with a passion. But I also think forcing people to pay outrageous amounts of money just for choosing not to wear a seatbelt is not fair. Especially under the circumstances that if two vehicles (not a true story, just hear me out) collided, one vehicle's passengers wore seatbelts whereas the other vehicle's passengers did not. Just say that the vehicle with the nonwearing seatbelts survive but the seat-belt wearers did not... It's not fair to basically say "Although you are the survivors and we know you've been through a lot, we're going to force you to pay a ticket because you didn't wear a seatbelt." If that was done with me, I'd be all... if I wore a seatbelt, I'd be in the same boat as the other vehicle and not be standing here today.
I just feel that it's just kind of harsh.

@Animejosse: Ah, yes that's definitely true. There has been several cases of my sister and I driving to work early hours in the morning that I would have to pull over and ask her to drive because I kept falling asleep at the wheel... =(

@amersemt: I agree but disagree with the disability. For as long as they proven that the seat belt could of prevented the disability and not the actual accident due to the opposing vehicle. But there is no way in proving that. It would be just the same as stating to take away any disability,m etc. from someone to which the seat belt caused the disability of the person.

@Esaria: You have stumped me there. I'm uncertain how I feel about the air bag issue. I've never been in a serious accident to which the air bags were deployed, but after watching Final Destination and seeing the girl stuck in the car because her seat belt has her there and the air bag deployed, causing her head to hit the pipe behind her... I've always was weary of them... I really don't want the thought of being stuck in my vehicle after a crash. I think I would be screaming to be let loose if that were to ever happen.

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Wed Sep 15, 2010 11:41 am
Fehvy wrote:
[...] but after watching Final Destination and seeing the girl stuck in the car because her seat belt has her there and the air bag deployed, causing her head to hit the pipe behind her...


I get being freaked out because of the movie, but... you are aware that the Final Destination series are basically huge excuses to show as violent deaths as possible no matter how illogical, right?
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Sun Sep 19, 2010 8:41 pm
Animejosse wrote:
you are aware that the Final Destination series are basically huge excuses to show as violent deaths as possible no matter how illogical, right?


I especially enjoyed the third movie for that effect. It's like every last scene was written around the phrase, "now what are the odds of that?"

On topic -- seat belts save far more lives than they ever put at risk. In any accident it's much better to be strapped inside the vehicle than tossed out of it. I also don't see anything wrong with people being ticketed for not wearing their seat belts. It's such a simple thing to do that there shouldn't be any excuse for not wearing one.
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Thu Sep 23, 2010 5:01 pm
I also thing seatbelts should be optional. I've heard of plenty of car accidents where seatbelts have caused... decapitation. In those cases, the airbag alone would have saved the passenger if it wasn't for the seatbelt. Crying or Very sad
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Sat Oct 02, 2010 6:54 pm
Choice.
Always and only by choice.


But I also believe that everyone should be able to make their own decisions on everything and that there should be None of these stupid laws telling us what to do. Being told what to do is NOT FREEDOM.

Freedom means making your own choices and living with the consequences. It is choice, and responsibility, and result. And nobody -nobody!- has the right to tell another person what to do, IMO.
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My EGGS!
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Mon Nov 01, 2010 12:45 pm
Hmmz, if we are talking about it being a choice when stepping into a car alone, then yeah it's certainly your own choice if you do it or not.

But when it comes to multiple people in a car it should definitely be used. No one wants to kill their own child because they flattened it with their body when they were thrown in the backseat...for example.

I agree with Esaria that you have to put a belt on your kid. The same reason as said above and children don't have the tendency to walk away from an accident. Most adults or older children do. They search for safety, but a small child tends to stick where they are for their mom or dad to find them. So if it would be thrown in the middle of the road it could have catastrophical results after the initial collision. I also think it's important to have the kiddy car seats where they get elevated to the right hight. Else they can be strangled by the belt.

Furthermore it's really important to have the little orange hammer/cutting device nearby. A lot of people don't have them in their car, which I think is really stupid. It doesn't cost much and adds a lot to your safety.
If you are in an accident you can easily cut the belt away or break a window when the door is stuck.

I wear a belt all the time. I think if I would be in an accident, it's good to know that the emergency people know where I'm at. I shiver at the thought of laying somewhere in the bushes and loosing blood with each passing second and not be able to make it clear that I'm actually there ^^'

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Mon Nov 01, 2010 5:34 pm
I used to work with a woman who was in an accident while not wearing a seat belt and went through the windshield, scraping off her face.(! Yes!!) She had been through 14 reconstruction operations over many years, and had about 20 to go. She looked barely human, which was so sad, because she was such a nice woman. So, I say everyone should be forced by law to wear seat belts, because anyone who thinks a car crash is a simple life/death outcome is too shortsighted to be making his or her own decisions. Same goes for motorcycle and bike helmets.
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Fri Jan 14, 2011 8:43 pm
Animejosse wrote:
Fehvy wrote:
[...] but after watching Final Destination and seeing the girl stuck in the car because her seat belt has her there and the air bag deployed, causing her head to hit the pipe behind her...


I get being freaked out because of the movie, but... you are aware that the Final Destination series are basically huge excuses to show as violent deaths as possible no matter how illogical, right?


Yes, I do. I know it's a fictional movie. However, it also proves that anything can happen. This could happen. There are many cases to which a person is stuck within a vehicle due to their seat belts and whether or not it's a spark close to the puddle of gas or a default in the air bag, there are possibilities. It's the same difference for when not wearing a seat belt.

Again, I'm not stating you're safer when not wearing a seat belt.
And again, I will repeat myself.
There is a 50/50 chance either way when wearing or not wearing seat belts.

If you get into a car accident and flip your car several times down a small hill. If you're wearing a seat belt, there is a chance of you living.
However, if your car decides to flip down a hill and into a ravine or off a cliff. If you're not wearing a seat belt, there is a chance of the flipping of the vehicle to throw you out and thus save you.

I'm not stating you should not wear a seat belt. But chances are throughout our lives and we should have the choice on whether or not to wear a seat belt.

I wear a seat belt, simply because there are no steep hills, cliffs, ravines, large bridges, etc. to have a fear of. The only place that would strike fear would be the Black River bridge because there are whirlpools there.


Rowan Sage wrote:
Choice.
Always and only by choice.


But I also believe that everyone should be able to make their own decisions on everything and that there should be None of these stupid laws telling us what to do. Being told what to do is NOT FREEDOM.

Freedom means making your own choices and living with the consequences. It is choice, and responsibility, and result. And nobody -nobody!- has the right to tell another person what to do, IMO.


Nicely put. USA is supposed to be land of the free. Freedom of speech, freedom of choices, etc. to an extent.

@Achaia: Yes, children should always wear a seat belt. That I do agree with. I believe children (depending on maturity rather than the actual age) do not really have the mental capability of choosing seat belts or not because most likely they'd choose not to wear one not do to the fact of thinking about vehicle crashes but just because they just do not want to wear one.

@beercrone: Oh, that's so awful. Just one of those cases to which a seat belt should of been used.

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Fri Feb 04, 2011 4:03 pm
@Esaria: Agreed Most cars I have seen with airbags have explicit warnings against placing children there.

@Fehvy: Hm... Any situation I can think of that would made the car flip into somewhere dangerous requires a guardian angel anyway, seatbelt or no seatbelt. That said, if it makes you feel safer if you have to drive there then I can not really say anything about it.

About children wearing seatbelts: Not wanting to, or seeing that the adults are not wearing them. Wink Though from what I have read so far it seems most people wear seatbelts anyway when someone else is in the car with them, so I doubt this is a problem.

I will just repeat my standpoint on the whole thing: Make sure you (general you) are the only one at risk if you are not going to use the seatbelt.

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Fri Feb 04, 2011 6:01 pm
Animejosse wrote:
I will just repeat my standpoint on the whole thing: Make sure you (general you) are the only one at risk if you are not going to use the seatbelt.


Only problem with that is you cannot predict if the other vehicle is going to be at risk or not. =P

Well, I can give a situation that is not related to Final Fantasy.

My father's truck accident.. He was turning a curve and yes, he was speeding. There's no doubt about that and he should have. However, the other vehicle turned from a connected road without looking. It was entirely his fault but due to him having a better lawyer than my father (which he actually didn't have any cause we couldn't afford one), they ended up winning. But anywho, my father wasn't wearing a seat belt, but the other vehicle's passengers had been.
Dad got thrown out of his truck and police did state that if he had been wearing his seat belt, they would have been taking him to the morgue. The other vehicle's passengers, the one that wasn't driving ended up getting pinned on her side of the vehicle. Due to the fact that the seat belt kept her within the vehicle, it destroyed her leg and they had to amputate it.
Now, I would have to agree that amputation is a lot better than death, but none of those involved had died. And it was one vehicle wearing a seat belt and one vehicle not wearing a seat belt.
I feel sorry for the other vehicle, but I felt extremely ticked off later on when they claimed it was my father's fault when it was actually their own.. He was on the main highway, they were the ones with a stop sign who should have looked both ways before pulling out with a trailer.

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Fri Feb 04, 2011 6:20 pm
it should be a choice,
there is not one person who can actually make you pick up that seat belt and buckle it up.
only you can, if you want to.
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