Sunday, January 30, 2011
Seat Belt Issue Better Defined
So, I decided that he at least deserved a better response to his comment than the one I made, so I deleted mine and wrote this post all to the issue of seat belt laws.
First and foremost, my family mostly wear seat belts. I have instructed them that they are better off wearing one than not, that statistics bear this out. I have also pointed out that I DO NOT and the reason for this is in protest to stupid laws that need not be laws at all. It is the moment they passed the seat belt law that I recognized their intent was not to make me safe, or to protect my little brain from damage, but to provide another means by which the average cop could gain access to my vehicle on fishing expeditions for illegal drugs, or weapons, or candy canes for all they cared, as long as they were gaining access.
If my little brain were the issue they would require not only seat belts, but also helmets because everyone knows that despite seat belts, the largest single cause of death in an automobile is head injuries. Where are the helmets? It would make more sense for the reasons listed below that seat belts not be used and helmets required. I'm sure Mr. Dad, by his arrogance, will share with us pictures of him and his family driving along with seat belts secured and helmets on EVERY damn time they take a drive, because safety really is the only criteria on which to base intelligence.
Also, I did not like their method. Why not just put it up for a vote? They didn't do that, they imposed it largely by federal coercion.
Now, here is the crux of my objection to the LAW, not the BELT. Seat belts do not always save lives, they make survival more likely, but there are side impact crashes that trap individuals between the seat belt and the vehicle, crushing the individual body between them when otherwise they would be thrown to the other side of the vehicle. If you don't think seat belts provide enough resistance to crush a body, a tow truck driver told me that he rights upended cars using the left and right front seat belts as a sling to lift the car back onto its wheels. He doesn't wear a seat belt either and he has been on plenty of crash scenes, so spare me the "I'm a cop and I've seen the results" bs. The results largely would have been the same. And, there are no statistics being kept when a seat belt has caused the loss of life, so the argument being made by Dedicated Dad is faulty at best and fraudulent at worst.
Seat belts make escape from a vehicle much more difficult and perhaps impossible when the vehicle is on fire or submerged. Seat belts trap people in cars when they would have been better off had they been thrown clear. The random and sheer luck aspect to this event cause me to want to leave it all in God's hands anyway.
For mountain driving on windy roads (I live in Colorado) next to raging whitewater rivers, not wearing a seat belt gives me a bit more comfort because tourists tend to run us off the road quite a bit as they gawk at the beautiful scenery and there is nowhere to go but in the water, where not minutes but split seconds count.
Then, there is the time-imposition aspect to it. The government, by passing the law, instructs me 10-15 times a day to perform an act of clicking the seat belt together. 10-15 x 365= 5,475 times a year on the off chance that I will be in an accident that required a seat belt a 30% chance by the way.
In my younger days things were a lot wilder and I was involved one way or the other in numerous accidents, two rollovers and other serious crashes. I was never injured, nor was anyone else in the vehicles none of us wore seat belts back then. No one was thrown out of the vehicle, either. Since then, over the past 30 years, I have never been involved in an accident. So, what good has a seat belt ever done me? Just think of it rationally, instead of going off on a "Only idiots don't wear seat belts" tirade. What a useless waste of time.
I will reiterate: seat belts mostly reduce the possibility of death or injury, but they do not prevent it and they damn sure do not prevent it every time and therefore it should not be a law. A law should be something where the percentages are not figured, that the outcome is absolute. For example a law against stealing is just, why? Because it is ALWAYS wrong to do so, it is always a crime against someone else's property.
For my part, I think seat belt laws were designed by statists to satisfy a statist mindset. I am fully capable of making that decision every time I get in a car, EVERY time. My ability to discern for myself what is best, whether I am on a windy, mountain road next to a raging whitewater river, I want to decide NOT to wear the damn thing and removing THAT decision is where I personally find the damn crime.
Posted by T.L. Davis at 6:07 AM