Whenever there is a fatal accident in South Louisiana I get an e-mail from the State Police. It's the accident report detailing the final few minutes of a life that no longer exists on the planet. Before I check the name, the location, the details of the crash I look at one little box first. It's at the bottom of the page and it's a yes or no question, "Wearing Seatbelt". In almost every case where there is a fatality the box marked "NO" is checked.

Some people don't like to wear seat belts. They say its an infringement on their personal freedom. Some people like to drink and drive and rape and kill, they see laws against that as an infringement on their personal freedom. I see it as this, wearing a seat belt while you drive is the law. Driving is a privileged and not a right. If you want the privilege you need to obey the law. It's like driving one mile over the speed limit in Washington, Louisiana, you're going to get busted.

Since this is National Click it or Ticket week I thought we'd discuss why some people don't wear their seat belts. Here are  some of the reasons people give for not wearing a seat belt.

1.My Car Has Air Bags-  Airbags are designed to assist the seat belt, not replace it. In fact an airbag can cause injury to an unrestrained passenger in the event of a crash.

2.The Seat Belt Can Hurt Me In A Crash - The fact is in a crash just about anything can hurt you. If you use that logic then you cant' have a steering wheel in your car because it can certainly hurt you in a crash. The seat belt is the one thing that can actually prevent you from being injured.

3. A Seat Belt Can Trap Me In A Burning Car Or Underwater -  I guess that's true but less than 1% of all accidents involved fire or water. Besides you can't escape a burning or sinking vehicle if your unconscious. Chances are with out restraints a crash that would put you in that precarious of a situation would involve a pretty good impact. So you'd probably be out cold unless you had the seat belt on.

4. I Drive A Truck- Well you're 60% safer in that truck with a seat belt on. It's hard to be macho when you're laid out in a coffin.

5. I'm Only Driving A Short Distance - Idiots are everywhere. They drive near your house too. Even if the speed limit is 25mph on a neighborhood street that is enough to cause you serious injury or death. You're more likely to get into a wreck close to home anyway so why risk it?

6. I'm A Man, I'm A Better Driver -  The placement of genitalia on the outside of the body has nothing to do with ones ability to maintain control of a motor vehicle. In fact society has proven that when that part of the body does the thinking most men get into a lot of trouble.

For every reason you've got to not wear a seat belt, I can come up with a reason you should. The bottom line is this, driving can be dangerous, even for good drivers. I want you to have every advantage that's available to you to get you home safely to the ones you love. I also don't want you getting at ticket. Because if you don't buckle up you will get busted.


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