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Millions Don't Buckle Up, But Who Are Worst Offenders?

by Rolway / May 16, 2006 4:49 AM PDT

WASHINGTON -- Seat belt use is reaching record levels, so just who are the holdouts who fail to buckle up? Often they are young men who live in rural areas and drive pickups, the government says.

About 48 million people do not regularly put on seat belts when they are on the road, a figure the government's highway safety agency hopes to lower with an annual public education campaign ahead of the summer driving season.

The ''Click It or Ticket'' campaign involves checkpoints, patrols and advertisements to help enforce seat belt laws. It runs from May 22 through June 4.

Click It Here

New Hampshire has no seat belt law for adults. Their motto: ''Live Free or Die''

I'm old man who lives in a rural area and most of the time I don't wear the PITA thing either. And don't give me no lecture. Its my choice. (Usally I forget it.) I buckle the middle buckle to it so the alarm does'nt ding ding.


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Re: (Usally I forget it.)
by JP Bill / May 16, 2006 5:03 AM PDT

You could leave the other belt unbuckled and the ding ding would serve as a reminder.

But I think you don't want to be reminded you're not wearing a seat belt. (Your choice)

Do You?

Don't take my "speil" the wrong way (seriously).

I wear my seat belt all the time.

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Yep, thats right..
by Rolway / May 16, 2006 5:27 AM PDT

"But I think you don't want to be reminded you're not wearing a seat belt". (You got it)

Happy to hear you wear yours all the time. Thats your choice.


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I always wear it....
by EdH / May 16, 2006 5:11 AM PDT

and insist that anyone riding in my car buckle up too, regardless of "Live Free or Die". I'm choosing the "Live Free" part. Stupid not to.

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It's not just about your freedom, George
by Josh K / May 16, 2006 5:17 AM PDT

If you and I get into an accident, your injuries will likely be much worse if you don't have your belt on. That affects me as well as you.

I won't shift out of PARK until my passengers are buckled in. If they don't like it, they're "free" to find other transportation.

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If I was a passenger in your car...
by Rolway / May 16, 2006 5:52 AM PDT

Then I would buckle up. When I get in someone elses car, and that driver buckles up, then I buckle up. My own car is my choice. I rarely carry passengers except the wife and she always buckles up. Maybe because of the way I drive, I don't know. But thats her choice.

I do not believe the public is getting the real facts. Do they ever tell you how many have died or broke their neck from a seat belt? No. But odds are you may come out better in an accident by wearing one. Odds are that is?? Maybe??


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But if my car hits your car, or vice versa....
by Josh K / May 16, 2006 5:55 AM PDT

....you will be more severely injured if you don't have your belt on.

It is indeed only your business if you hit a tree. But if you hit my car, and are injured more severely than you would have been had you been wearing your belt, then it's my business, and my possible financial loss as well.

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How do you figure that Josh?
by Rolway / May 16, 2006 6:38 AM PDT

Its only my business if I hit a tree?? But your business if I hit you.? The accident isn't caused by not wearing a seat belt, only the extent of injuries. Unless you are going to figure in increased insurance premiums because of possible more expense to fix me up from not wearing a belt.

Don't worry I'm good driver and do not intend on committing suicide.


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Ed put it as well as I would have
by Josh K / May 16, 2006 6:40 AM PDT

Even good drivers can hit a patch of black ice, have a tire blow out on them or any number of other things that have nothing to do with skill.

And the person who hits you may not be as good a driver as you are.

Extent of injuries is what this is all about, not whose fault the accident is.

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Well, yeah...
by EdH / May 16, 2006 6:48 AM PDT
only the extent of injuries. Unless you are going to figure in increased insurance premiums because of possible more expense to fix me up from not wearing a belt.

Which could be considerably larger than if you had been wearing a belt. I guess the fact that insurance is not required in New Hampshire could play in this one way or the other too.

No one INTENDS to get into a serious accident.
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Increased insurance rates and general ..
by EdH / May 16, 2006 6:02 AM PDT

caring for you if you get yourself seriously messed up impacts all of us as a society. Not to mention what it can do to family, friends, etc.

My mother-in-law used to use that "injured by the seat belt" argument. Seems to me I saw something about that somewhere. Very very tiny chance of the seatbelt hurting you in relation to the danger of NOT wearing one.

Hey, a big rock could fall out of the sky and crush you, too.

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(NT) (NT) You got a point there EdH
by Rolway / May 16, 2006 6:50 AM PDT
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The insurance argument ...
by Evie / May 17, 2006 11:21 PM PDT

... is probably not that strong. Most fatalities occur when seatbelts are not worn. The cost of a fatality under that circumstance is much less than the cost of medical care for the severely injured survivor wearing the belt.

I'm not advocating unclicking, just not really buying the overall "cost to society" argument.

Evie Happy

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I guess we'd have to know how many non-fatal..
by EdH / May 18, 2006 12:50 AM PDT

severe injuries there are. It doesn't take much to run up the bill. Even a minor crash can cause bad injuries if the seatbelt is not worn.

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I agree, but ...
by Evie / May 18, 2006 1:03 AM PDT

... with the seatbelt, there are still injuries and a MUCH higher likelihood of surviving. I think the stats are something like 70% wear seatbelts regularly, and 2/3rds of fatalities occur when not wearing a seat belt. I'll have to research and see if I can find some hard stats on that.

Evie Happy

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Well, that tells me something Evie...
by Rolway / May 18, 2006 4:48 AM PDT

Wearing seat belts increases your insurance premiums Josh & EdH.

In a major accident the cost to put someone back together who was wearing a seat belt is much higher than that of someone not wearing one. Cheaper to just scoop up the non-wearer in a body bag and bury him. Right

I guess if they are going to start fining you, I'll have to hook up. Don't feel like donating any more to their slush funds. Getting to be a $&#@ police state.

George Sad

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Or you could look at it this way
by Josh K / May 18, 2006 5:03 AM PDT

They can't fine you if you're dead.


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(NT) (NT) Thar ya go..:))))
by Rolway / May 18, 2006 5:06 AM PDT
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Ask your insurance agent if...
by EdH / May 18, 2006 5:27 AM PDT

wearing seatbelts increases your premiums. I think you'll it's not true. Not every accident is fatal or major. Most are not and those are the ones where seatbelt use can make a big difference.

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The Gecko speaks..
by EdH / May 18, 2006 5:37 AM PDT

Seat Belt Use.
If you and your passengers always wear seat belts, you may receive a discount of 15 percent on the medical payments or personal injury protection portion of your premium.
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Hmmm ...
by Evie / May 19, 2006 2:57 AM PDT
In reply to: The Gecko speaks..

... that's odd. I have Geico and they never asked if I wear belts. How do they enforce that? Do they assume that all folks that live in seatbelt requiring states essentially obey the law and give the discount automatically?

This may well be as much of a marketing tactic as any cost/benefit to the insurer's bottom line. If you weren't wearing your seat belt they might not pay the claim?

I don't think insurance costs are the only ones in question, there's the bills that must be paid by someone, and if not covered by insurance, get paid by all of us with health insurance to a small extent. I still think this is probably at best a wash. I don't know if there's any data on the average medical costs with and without seat belts.

Evie Happy

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Don't know, but I would ask...
by EdH / May 19, 2006 5:06 AM PDT
In reply to: Hmmm ...

could be that they don't let loose of that 15% easily. You probably have to sign a pledge or something.

Hey, if it's on the internet it MUST be true.

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I wonder ...
by Evie / May 19, 2006 5:31 AM PDT

... if you get that 15% discount and the one time you don't use your seatbelt you get in an accident .....

I always wear mine, but one time when we got in an accident it wouldn't have appeared that I did that day. The belt was momentarily slackened because I had bent forward to get something from my purse on the floor. As a result, my forehead left a little starburst in the windsheild. Luckily for me, there was no injury in that crash (and no airbags at the time cuz I probably would have been knocked out or maybe even killed had one deployed). But it would have been my word that I was wearing the belt, and I wonder what the insurance agent would have had to say in this day and age. AIR, there was only a requirement for the driver to wear a seatbelt at the time, so the cop filling out the accident report didn't question my version of events much (they only had me sign that I refused medical attention at the scene). The other driver was cited for various traffic violations but I'm pretty sure they never cited her for not having her kids properly restrained. :((She ran a stop sign on a side street turning left across two lanes of traffic -- us in the left -- onto the left lane of two. Her excuse was that she didn't see us because the car in the right lane obscured our vehicle -- nevermind that she would have had to clear that car first, and worse, the lane she was turning onto was filled with cars!)

I think ALL teenagers should be made to take Driver's Ed in order to get a license. Once you've seen that ''seatbelt film'' it's difficult to not start out wearing them, and if you make it a habit from the get go, even the uncomfortable belt is just seen more as a tradeoff for a better good. Most of the parents didn't wear them routinely (I know mine sure didn't) when my friends and I went through D.E. experience. It was us kids bugging them that got them to eventually start buckling up. That film leaves a lasting impression. While I'm sure there are cases where the belt itself can cause injury, it just doesn't compare to what the restraint saves. And AFAIK, unless one has an older car without airbags, they are actually LESS safe in a car with airbags than without if they don't wear the belt.

Evie Happy

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I wonder too..
by Rolway / May 19, 2006 8:34 AM PDT
In reply to: I wonder ...

Are you trying to say Evie...That if you have Air Bags and don't buckle up the seat belt, chances are you will be injured even more in a crash. How so.

I'm not too hepped up about Air Bags either, after seeing some of injuries they have caused just in deploying. They can easily be disconnected too.

You know, all this safety stuff is great, but it gives some people a false sense of security. They drive around like they are immortal. They figure, heck if I get in a wreck I got all this protection around me. I'm safe. The safer they make these cars, the faster and crazy these people will drive them. A car is only as safe as the nut behind the wheel. In the mean time, you and I have to drive around strapped up in a potential coffin.

George (Think I'll move to the NM Desert)

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Yes it is exactly what I'm saying George
by Evie / May 19, 2006 8:41 AM PDT
In reply to: I wonder too..

It is basic physics. Your body is traveling along at whatever mph with your car and you slam on your brakes. Unrestrained, your body continues to move at whatever mph forward while the car comes to a stop. You have forward motion and that is further compounded by the air bag hurtling towards you in the opposite direction -- e.g. head on collision with moving object vs. hitting a wall.

The airbags are designed with the consideration that you are restrained in the seat.


I agree on the safety equipment and a false sense of security. I have no gripes with the SUV owner other than the sheer numbers of them that insist 4WD and being a little higher off the ground is license to go 70 mph in the slush filled left lane, etc. Sad

Evie Happy

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(NT) (NT) Thanks for the Air Bag/Seat Belt link Evie. Interesting
by Rolway / May 19, 2006 9:00 AM PDT
In reply to: I wonder too..
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(NT) (NT) I hope you carry your organ donor card.
by Dan McC / May 17, 2006 4:17 AM PDT
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Now your really making me feel like I should, should'nt
by Rolway / May 17, 2006 4:30 AM PDT

Wear a seat belt. Forget the organ donor business. One crash and the seat belt will probably ruin that organ. Happy


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But you'd still be alive enough
by Dan McC / May 17, 2006 4:50 AM PDT

for them to bother to go in and fix it for you.


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Yeah, But, But...
by Rolway / May 17, 2006 5:09 AM PDT

Will I be wearing a skirt or pants afterward?? I think I better start wearing a seat belt. Nobody gives me a good reason not to, dammit


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Which do you wear now?
by Dan McC / May 17, 2006 5:11 AM PDT
In reply to: Yeah, But, But...

I don't think it would give you a change of fashion sense.


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