Author Topic: Seat belts cost lives?  (Read 2995 times)

Denise 20352

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Seat belts cost lives?
« on: July 19, 2006, 09:37:03 PM »

  Fun with statistics, courtesy of the US DOT:

  In 2004:

  In passenger cars, 6378 drivers killed were wearing seat belts.  5904 killed were not wearing seat belts.

   In vans, 539 drivers killed were wearing seat belts.  536 killed were not wearing seat belts.

   In passenger cars,

       Among childen aged 0-3, 255 killed were wearing restraints.  136 killed were unrestrained.

       Among children aged 4-7, 159 killed were buckled up.  
157 killed were not.

       Among adults age 65-74, 1199 killed were safely restrained.  774 of the folks who were living dangerously bought it.

       Among adults 75+ years of age, 2001 killed were wearing their belts. 905 killed were not.  

   Whatever you do, dont put that seat belt on, unless youre young and driving an SUV.

-denise

Bernie DeWinter, IV

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Re: Seat belts cost lives?
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2006, 11:14:45 PM »
Its a funny thing about seatbelts.  Before it became law to wear a seatbelt, I always made a point of reaching for same and buckling up as soon as I got into a car or truck.  I never even had to give it a second thought, and there were times when it felt funny to get into some cars because the belts were buried in the seats from lack of use.  Then one day I was riding around with a friend in a 73 Cadillac hed just gotten in at his used car lot, and when I reached down to unbuckle the belt to get out of the car, it wouldnt budge!  Id heard stories about that happening, but never gave much thought to them until that moment, and I ended up using my pocket knife to cut the stitching where the buckle met the webbing itself to get free from that Cadillac.  Ironically, it was a 73 S&S Park Hill combination coach; and I was thinking of trading my Crown Sovereign in on it.  Not long after that, the seatbelt law went into effect in Ohio, and I found myself having to think long and hard about buckling up whenever I got into a car or truck.  Another thing I cant help but notice is the number of cops who dont wear seatbelts!!!  I firmly believe in the value of seatbelts, but like the late great Tom McCahill, I think their real value is keeping a driver behind the wheel in a bad situation so he or she can maneuver out of it to avoid a collision.  For that matter, I enjoy driving vehicles that are so old they arent equipped with seatbelts because they make me remember that I have to use common sense to avoid accidents, and I think thats a lesson thats lost on most people these days.  Look at newer cars and trucks with the latest safety equipment, and it seems theres an "invincibility factor" in the minds of many people driving them.  They think all that safety gear means they can take unreasonable chances, and they proceed to do so.

The whole auto safety bit has gotten so skewed in recent years that its ridiculous. Newer cars usually have turn signals that cant be seen except from a very limited range of degrees off of head on viewing, where they used to be able to be seen from the side of the car.  Daytime running lights are especially dangerous in a heavy rain on the freeway because the idiots in cars and trucks so equipped are too stupid to turn on their lights so they have taillights that can be seen through road spray.  Windshield pillars are so thick they make for large blind spots where one definitely doesnt need them; especially in city traffic during rush hour.

I have to wonder if it isnt all an outgrowth of the old "baby on board" and "child in car" signs in peoples windows.  You remember them, usually seen in cars where the kids are hanging out the windows unrestrained, or the parent is driving like they never learned how to, yet because of that stupid sign in their window, we were expected to cut them some slack and look out for them in spite of their sheer stupidity which should have been proof that some folks are so dangerously stupid that they shouldnt even be allowed to walk down a sidewalk without being on a leash for their own safety, and ours. :)

Is it any wonder that common sense is on the verge of becoming a felony?  Despite the safety mavens best efforts, theres on natural law theyll never beat... whenever man comes up with a better way to idiot proof something, Mother Nature will quickly respond by coming up with a better breed of idiot! :)

Sorry to get up on my soapbox, but those statistics just hit a raw nerve tonight.

Doug Houston

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Re: Seat belts cost lives?
« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2006, 12:20:01 AM »
Just like anything else, its about money. Get it through your skull; nobody is trying to clean your air, nobody is trying to keep you safe, nobody is trying to make you healthier.

Long before there were helmet laws, I always used a skid lid, riding my Harley. Now, Id have to pay a politician big bucks if I dont use it. Do you believe that someone is protecting me?

Michigan is a state whose legislature is owned by the insurance industry. They operate on statistics, and those statistics tell that if only one life can be saved by use of some "safety" contraption, theyll buy all the votes thay need to get the law mongers to dance to their tune. They have a tack-on fund for catastrophic claims, supposedly to keep from bad losses. But a vehicle owner has to pay the $120 surcharge on EVERY vehicle he has a license for. They kick it up a bit each year, and funny thing, the insurance companies dont even itemize it on your bill!  Anybody wanna guess who gets that money?

Today, we have, virtually no constitution. Look at the fourth amendment of the US constitution. Unless there is a reason for an authority to enter your property, they cant. But its a cops job to take you to court,and have a judge force you pay a lot of money to a politician for not protecting the body thats your property, and that he has no sovereignty over. When it comes to gifts from the insurance racketeers, any politician is for hire.

Anyone else for the soap box?

Wayne Womble 12210

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Re: Seat belts cost lives?
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2006, 12:33:00 AM »
MI is not the only state that is ruled by insurance companies. It would probably be impossible to find one that is not.

Brother Dave Gardner said " seatbelts are necessary because the ambulance driver is too lazy to look for the body".

Dave Leger CLC #19256

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Re: Seat belts cost lives?
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2006, 11:13:47 AM »
You can always interpret (and misinterpret) statistics in many, many ways.  My favorite quote from Benjamin Disraeli is "there are lies, damned lies, and statistics".

Dave

Denise 20352

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Re: Seat belts cost lives?
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2006, 11:18:41 AM »

  Exactly my point.  You can cook statistics (as Ive obviously done here) in many ways, which is why I have much more use for raw statistics.

  An obvious conclusion obtained from the raw statistics is that seat belts do not necessary save lives in all situations, which is one of the reasons why I believe that we should all be free to make our own decisions regarding personal safety.

  The other reason, of course, is that creating more government to "take care of us" is always a bad idea.  You wouldnt even want the average government employee to babysit your children, so why would you want them making your safety decisions?

-denise

Eric Maypother CLC #15104

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Re: Seat belts cost lives?
« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2006, 11:35:49 AM »
Hi,
Yes factual numbers dont show the true numbers of percentages, maybe more people were killed because more were wearing seat-belts, maybe of those killed it was only 10 percent of the total who were wearing seat-belts and those who survived may have only been 10 percent who didn;t wear then.

Example: 1,000 people were killed out of 10,000 wearing seatbelts, 900 were killed not wearing seatbelts out of 1,000 who were in accidents. Ive always worn seat-belts even before it was the law, but I feel that if you dont want to wear 1 you have every right as an American to go throught you windshield or be thrown from your can into on coming traffic.
Eric :)

Eric Maypother CLC #15104

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Re: PS. Seat belts cost lives?
« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2006, 11:48:53 AM »
PS.
Just ready more in the Eldo vs Mustang post made me think on another thing, Watch NASCAR, I dont think those cars have much for crumple zones thier pretty solid tube frames and roll bars, but yet theyll crash at 200 MPH, roll over 5 times and the drivers will walk away, reason, thier strapped securily in thier seats. Some people are in fender benders and thier hauled away by ambulance on a strether in a neck brace.

Guess it also comes back to what kind of car and what kind of accident, some accidents you woudnt survive with or with-out a seatbelt, other situations seatbelts may have made the injuries worse but Im still going to take the chances and wear 1.
Eric :)

Bill Burton #19057

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Re: Seat belts cost lives?
« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2006, 11:52:47 AM »
A woman pulled out in front of me from a stop sign.  I hit her at about 60 mph.  Without the seatbelt, Im dead.  With it, Im here to write about it.  I have back and neck problems due to the stress the belt imposed, but Im alive.  As an Air Force medic in the early 60s in the South, I was on weekend duty to go get people after wrecks.  This was before OSHA and seatbelts were required.  The results werent pretty to see.  There were too many drivers impaled on steering columns and passengers with their heads through the windshield.  The seat belts are needed and arent a gimmick.  Ive seen the results when someone isnt strapped in.  Talk to the Earnharts about being belted in, or any race car driver.  The speeds are different, but the impact forces are not as divergent as you might think. I hate the systems in place in a lot of cars because they seem to be designed to be very difficult to use, but thats another conversation.  

Randall A. McGrew CLC # 17693

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Re: Seat belts cost lives?
« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2006, 02:01:48 PM »
I agree, Bill.  I do not doubt in the least that safety restraints do save lives.  No, they do not keep you from being injured.  That is a given, while some do manage to escape without damage.  I loathe airbags. Hate them, hate them, hate them... but the belt and air bag kept me from worse injury than I suffered.  I survived.  That does not mean it did not cripple me and made life less what it could have been due to the other drivers error.  

I drive a car now that has no safety restraint.  I am considering putting them in but I do not think the mechanism I CAN put in would do much more than possibly save my life in a percentage of accidents.  Side, front  and heavy rear hits potentially would severely damage my hips, spine and neck, we wont mention the severity of soft tissue damage that will haunt you for the rest of your life.  The way they would have to be anchored would mean my head would most likely strike the steering wheel or side window, and whiplash is guarenteed.  So what to do?

It is my firm belief, that while you cannot control 100percent of everything you do or are involved in, you can effect how you move through life.  I believe that the best solution for safety lies in your brain.  Concentration, knowledge and driving skills; defensive methodologies and caution will do more to keep you safe than any passive restraint system, though you will be all the more safe with both.  

Key to this is focus on what the driver is really doing and what is going on around them, a mile behind, in front and to the side. It requires a lot of practice to use all mirrors and peripheral sight,

And judging time, space and speed properly.  For instance I drive 9 car lengths behind the car in front of me as much as possible... the faster we travel, the farther back I am.  I do not focus on max. speed on a road but the distance between me and that vehicle, allowing that and road conditions to determine relative speed.  It is a lot to do. Most often I do not listen to the radio.  If there are people in the car talking etc.. that adds to my equation.  Yes it is very defensive. Yes, I have to be sure not to be in a rush, and definitely I always must control my temper.  But as I see it, each of us behind the wheel are piloting a deadly weapon and that responsibility is primary.  I watch out for my fellow drivers, even when they do not watch out for me.  Its not a question of being special or better... its simply the right thing to do.  

There is a lot that goes into driving.  And I study various methodologies from racing to anti-terrorist methods not to be a bad a$$ but to have a broader perspective on the area, the spatial theater in which I am a participant.  You would be surprised how many times I have avoided a minor fender bender by noticing which way the front wheels were tilted or turned, and how the driver is acting.  I do this without thought now.  And I have still been in accidents.  But each one (none of which were my fault legally or ethically) has taught me something I missed.  

That is why I say your brain is your best safety device for the 98percent that you can effect.  Thats my .05 cents worth.

JIM CLC # 15000

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Re: Seat belts cost lives?
« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2006, 04:35:51 PM »
07-20-06
Dave, I agree with you 100percent.
Take a person and two large buckets, put a foot in each bucket,with water,chill one to "+0 degrees F".and heat the second bucket to "+120 degree F".
Statisicsly speaking, the person should be comfortable!
Good Luck, JIM
 

Rhino 21150

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Re: Seat belts cost lives?
« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2006, 09:45:44 PM »
HEY! I used to drive an ambulance. I was never too lazy to look for the body. As soon as I figured out what parts of the car were salvageable and called Tony, Carmine and Guido.

Denise 20352

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Re: Seat belts cost lives?
« Reply #12 on: July 21, 2006, 12:29:02 AM »

  I have to question the wisdom of driving 60 mph in a place where there are stop signs, but at those speeds, a seat belt is probably a good idea.  What gets me is the idea of getting into a 35 mph collision and having the seat belt tear my shoulder apart again, but thats due to my own particular situation, where statistics dont apply.

   Question.  Which, do you think, is better safety advice?  "Wear your seat belt at all times", or "Slow down in congested areas"?

-denise

Bill Burton #19057

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Clarification
« Reply #13 on: July 21, 2006, 01:38:47 AM »
Denise, I was on a clear country highway, she pulled out from a stop sign in front of me.  She had stopped, and I had actually slowed down because I didnt feel right about how she looked pulling up to the sign.  When she pulled out in front of me, I had no place to go and I applied the brakes.  She had three kids in her truck, none belted in. Thankfully she was spun around so they only got a part of the impact that I directly got.  My Ford Ranger was turned into a W.  The crush zones and belts worked as designed.  I still have had years of pain.  Without the OSHA applications, I would be a faint memory in my wifes memory.  Those kids got bounced off padding instead of sheet metal.  That would have been too much to bear.  As you can tell, I still am quite emotional about it. That seat belts can jam is another discussion, and was the original part of this string.  Yes they can, but if they are maintained properly, it virtually never happens.  I have a pocket knife in my car anyway, and I know some folks who have either carton knives or one of those emergency get out tools in theirs.  We have lots of canals where we live, so getting out of the vehicle can be a critical issue.

Jim Snell #21544

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Re: Clarification
« Reply #14 on: July 21, 2006, 07:14:53 AM »
  Howdy,
Have a head on collision and you will wish you were wearing the seat belt. Bottom line, the car stops, the human continues in the direction of travel.. Example. Cadillac weighs twice the Chevette..... Both vehicles traveling at an identical speed.... If they collide head on, the Caddy reduces its speed by approximately 50percent. instantaneously... Unfortunately, the Chevette reduces its speed 150percent.. In an instant the Cadillac stops the Chevette and reverses its direction of travel to match the now reduced speed of the Cadillac. So, a Cadillac wins in a match against the Chevette, but a Cadillac is history when it strikes a Peterbuilt... This is why motorcyclists try everything possible to escape direct impact with another motor vehicle...

Head injuries are the thing you are trying to avoid by wearing seat belts, or a helmet. The brain is too delicate to take the impact to the dash, windshield pillar post etc... I have been in the autobody repair business for 30 years, and I have seen just about everything.. Some crashes are just not survivable. Weighing these statistics in this way is interesting, but the true factor of surviving a serious accident is a complicated combination of things.  As a motorcyclist, former owner of a salvage yard, and auto body repairman, I can tell you that the prime objective in any accident is to avoid direct impact at all costs... If the ditch looks OK, take that option instead of the front of the Peterbuilt... You will always lose when your auto is stopped instantaneously in a violent collision. Glancing blows are much less traumatic, as you are deflecting the forces, and spreading them out over a longer period of time... Thinking of it this way makes seat belt use seem simple common sense. The ditch is typically an uneven surface with potential hazards. The possibility of the car overturning are greater than when the crash area remains on the roadway. Overturning in an automobile can be especially unpleasant when not restrained by belts.... When an accident remains on the road surface, the car may violently spin. This can happen even in head on collisions, and especially when the impact is side or angular.

Surviving a serious accident is mostly a game of chance, but being aware of potential options are a good idea... I wonder sometimes why people hit cars that pull out in front of them, when there are wide open ditch areas, and fields that a quick yank on the wheel would direct the car towards... Motorcyclists know this reaction in their subconscious mind. Of course, motorcycles are much more maneuverable than automobiles, and it all depends upon the reaction time available and the specific reaction abilities of each individual, but the ideas are the same..

Rural side road collisons caused by persons who failed to yield was mentioned in a previous post.. One of my pet peeves is people who arrive at stop signs in rural areas and will not make eye contact with the approaching vehicles that have the right of way.. This spooks me to no end.. Of course, this is the motorcyclist in me...
Over and out.
Jim Snell. Indiana  
 
http://www.trialspartsusa.com  http://www.gasgasmuseum.com  http://www.jims59.com

Lou clc 19028

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Re: Clarification
« Reply #15 on: July 21, 2006, 07:30:07 AM »
I have posted this link before. The lack of any safety features on both of these cars certainly caused a great deal of suffering. Seat belts and air bags would have done a lot of good in this case.
 Note: check out the steering wheel and gas tank on the Cadillac.

 http://www.plan59.com/photos/photos068.htm
You can click on the picture for a larger view

Pete

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Re: Seat belts cost lives?
« Reply #16 on: July 21, 2006, 09:21:34 AM »
I think the statistics quoted in the first post make a compelling case for the wisdom of seat belt use.  One needs to take into account the statistic that about 80percent of drivers buckle up nowadays.  So if the same percentage of belted drivers are being killed as are unbelted drivers, there should be 4 times as many belted drivers being killed as are unbelted drivers.  Looking at the first line, you find there are not; its only a small amount more (474 people), much, much less than would be expected if seat belts had no effect.

Another thing that often helps with interpreting statistics is to also look at the issue from a completely non-statistical view, for instance the laws of physics.  Do the statistics make sense, do they jive with known physical laws of the universe and what we know about people?  I like the 4 pages of reasons from DOT/NHTSA why heavier vehicles are safer that I referred to in the thread on the Mustang vs Eldorado safety topic.

That said, I hate the Nazi b**tards sticking their noses into peoples business and forcing compliance.  Things that are good ideas when done voluntarily often become horrible things when mandated.  (Look at the crime and violence engendered by prohibition of any sort.)  You have both the liberals ("doing good, through government coercion") and the conservatives ("making you good, through government coercion") stuffing their ideas down the peoples throats.  ("Well send men with guns to your house if you dont contribute to this good cause/stay away from that plant growing out of the goodness of the earth/refrain from having private fun in this manner...")  Personal responsibility and leaving the people alone are foreign concepts these days.  (All that Thomas Jefferson stuff is too old-fashioned, I guess.) Thats why I vote Libertarian when I can.  Yeah, I know, they dont have a chance of winning, but at least I feel good doing it.  Voting for either of the two major camps is like continuing to shop at the same 2 stores that rip you off time and again; it makes them think you like it!

Randall A. McGrew CLC # 17693

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Re: Seat belts cost lives?
« Reply #17 on: July 21, 2006, 09:33:45 AM »
I feel if you have a belt, wear it.  Period.  But if you do not, or even if you do, slow down.  Keep three seconds between you and the car in front in congestion.
Yes, people will dart in, no worries... just back off.  BElieve it or not, in my experience in Houston, LA and here in Denver, people back off you and go around.  Their impatience wont let them sit behind.  Some do ride the rear, and there is not much you can do about that.  However, you are at least in control of the car and chances are, unless the moron behind you in the Excursion slams into you, you wont be close enough to hit the car in front even if you are rammed in the rear.  

So things you simply cannot avoid.  And yes, in any collision, you are likely to be hurt even if you arent bleeding all over the place.  In my major accident, I had soft tissue damage in the brain, bad neck trauma, and a couple of ribs were dislocated when my hips were twisted suddenly.  But since I was not bleeding, they left me in an examination room, alone, on a body board for over two hours with no one there.  Then released me.  It is fairly typical these days.  The idiot that caused the accident was not wearing a belt, and used his skull as a ball to bounce off the front and side windows.
He probably got the royal treatment.  Go figure.

Denise 20352

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Re: Clarification
« Reply #18 on: July 22, 2006, 12:01:46 AM »

> ... I wonder sometimes why people hit cars that pull out in front of them, when there are wide open ditch areas, and fields that a quick yank on the wheel would direct the car towards...

   When the guy ran the stop sign and pulled out in front of me, there wasnt anywhere to go.  It was extremely frustrating, for what seemed like several seconds, but was actually less than one.  I remember exactly what went through my head... "I cant believe he did that...I cant stop in time...theres nowhere to turn...Im going to hit him."  He was going from my right to my left, but also trying to make a left turn, so he was heading toward my right front corner.  We hit almost head-on.  My RF corner hit his LF corner, smashed his car into an accordian shape, spun it all of the way around and the back end of it hit the right rear side of my truck.  His car actually ended up behind me, with both vehicles facing the same direction.

-d

Denise 20352

  • Guest
Re: Clarification
« Reply #19 on: July 22, 2006, 12:06:16 AM »

  It doesnt look to me like anyone suffered for very long.

  Where would they have attached shoulder belts on these cars?

 

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