By Adam Klepp
In the state of Michigan, if you’re sixteen or older, you are not required by law to wear a seat belt in the backseat of a car.
This law is very outdated, dangerous, and needs to be changed as soon as possible.
Despite efforts to increase awareness through marketing to teens, the NHSTA has discovered that these efforts have had minimal effect. I have seen Seaholm students refrain from wearing seat belts in cars. Students mainly do this when they are with other friends that are driving, and this is especially dangerous because high school drivers are more apt to be in an accident. Students make this mistake in hopes of being cool, and impressing their friends.
This law is very outdated. Back when cars first came about, there weren’t seat belts at all, but the cars weren’t very powerful. People can argue that with new features like traction control or air bags, that even without seat belts cars are safer today than they were in the past. This is true, but with bigger and advanced vehicles comes bigger threats, and if a big SUV hits a smaller car and the passengers inside aren’t wearing seatbelts, there is a very good chance they won’t survive.
The law is dangerous. The amount of lives a simple seat belt has saved is amazing. Seat belts save about eleven thousand lives a year, around thirty people each and every day.
People have opinions about seat belts, but numbers don’t lie.
According to an investigation by the CDC, fifteen thousand people die a year from not being restrained during an auto accident. If they were wearing seat belts, maybe we would have those fifteen thousand people back in our lives. Fifteen thousand funerals not needed fifteen thousand families’ not grieving, seat belts are such a simple thing to use and greatly increase your chances of not sustaining serious injuries or death in a car accident.
There is no reason why someone should get in a car and make the decision to not wear a seat belt.
The difference between wearing a seat belt and not wearing one is the difference between life and death, so why risk it.