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Seat belt phobia

When I first married my wife 25 years ago we had this same argument. As a pilot, I would never consider operating a vehicle without fastening my seat-belt. My wife, however, was very anti-seat-belt. Unfortunately, she had a some family members involved in a severe automobile accident. In this one-in-a-billion situation, those in the car were killed, while the two that were thrown clear survived. To make matters worse, she claims that the highway patrol officer told her family that if the two that were thrown clear were wearing their seat-belts, they would have died as well – (I’ve asked several Police and Highway Patrol Officers, and they swear that they would never tell any citizen that – even if they considered it possible). Anyway, it took a while but she did come around to reason and now buckles-up.

This is the alternative to no belt. While the pic is likely staged and not likely to sway him maybe it could plant a Thinkaboutit seed because that is the reality.

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Everyone who refuses to wear a seat-belt should read this on The article rightly points out that an unbelted victim would likely have perished long before the fire and, even if he had survived the crash unbelted, he would have been unconscious and unable to escape the fire. If your friend’s story is true then the only reason his friend was alive and conscious after the crash was because he was wearing a seat-belt. More likely, your friend is repeating an urban legend (see the Snopes story).

I think that you are probably quoting me, Steve!
Several times in this forum, I have related the tale of my aunt–who bought a brand-new Chevy Malibu (circa 1974)–and immediately took a steak knife to the belts in her car.

When I asked her why she had done this to her new car, she gave me that line about…If my arms were broken, then I wouldn’t be able to open that damned seatbelt, and I could be trapped in a burning car. Of course, I then pointed out the obvious, namely that she also wouldn’t be able to open the door if her arms were broken, and that the chance of breaking her arms would be greatly reduced if she was wearing a seatbelt.

Her response was an angry…Don’t be impertinent!
As the years went on, she became increasingly illogical in both her assumptions and her behavior.

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Two weeks ago here we had a rollover accident with 3 teenagers, the driver was not wearing his belt. He was “ejected” from the vehicle (thrown clear) and died on the spot. The other two sustained minor injuries.

All airbags are labelled SRS, SUPPELMENTARY RESTRAINT SYSTEM, and are meant to complement seat belts. If all Americans had instantly endorsed seat belts and worm them we might not even had air bags legislated.

Whenever I hear somebody espouse the “You’re better if you’re thrown clear” theory, I point out to them that they apparently live in a different world than I do.

My world includes roads studded with broken glass, steel guard rails adjacent to the roadway, and speeding vehicles on the roadway. The people who believe in that nonsense apparently live in a world where every accident takes place amidst a sea of Tempurpedic mattresses, sofa pillows, and marshmallow fluff.

And let’s not forget that many people who are thrown clear end up UNDER the car. The safest place is IN the car.

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Back in the '50s, when Ford and Nash began to offer seatbelts as an option, a journalist who was interviewing Buick’s Chief Engineer asked that GM guy about the value of seatbelts.

The Buick guy stated that he didn’t believe in them, and then went on to state that when he is driving with his children in the car, if he believed that they are in danger of a collision, he would yell, “BRACE”, which was his signal for his kids to extend their arms and brace themselves against the dashboard. :fearful:

Just imagine…Buick employed a man in a very highly-paid position who couldn’t comprehend the incredible inertial forces that result from a sudden deceleration and a collision.

Back in the 50’s very few people knew how much safer a seatbelt was.

In the 70s I had a backyard neighbor who was a policeman. He categorically refused to wear a seat belt and told his family as well that they were not effective!!. Later on this same guy had to enforce seat belt legislation. I wonder how he made out.

Most anti-seatbelt people simply do not understand statistics or physics. My backyard neighbor should at least understand physics since he taught amateur wrestling in his spare time.

If I’m driving my car, my passengers should follow my rules: Wear a seat belt or find another way to get where we’re going.

In his own car, he should be able to do what he wants, just like motorcyclists who don’t wear a helmet.

I carry a knife in my car that has a special seat belt cutter and a tool to break glass to escape. Maybe he would feel safer if he had one in his car within his reach.

Maybe if you ask him to fill out an organ donor card since he isn’t likely to survive a collision, he might reconsider his position.

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@VDCdriver, yup you are probably the source for that one. When belts first came on the scene in the 60’s a neighbor said she did not want to wear them because if she was upside down in the river she did not want to be trapped. She refused to consider that most accidents do not end up in water and if you did end up turned over you would not be in any condition to get your self out anyway, unless you had your seat belts on.

As a small child, I remember my dad would not buy the car in the showroom with no belts, but special order and wait for one WITH seatbelts.
Even going so far as to order seat belts to add in to the older car that had none.
This sank in and I always look to order my next vehicle just the way I want it even if it requires waiting.

When I re-did my 79 Chevy pickup, I ordered TWO add-in belts for the bench seat center passengers. So now my 79 has belts for four people across its one bench seat.

Just thinking back but our 57 Ford came with seat belts but if memory serves me, they were wrapped in plastic and not installed. You had to have the dealer actually bolt them in. Then we switched to GM and don’t think our 58 Chevy or the 61 Chevy had them at all or that I can remember. Then switched to Mercury and our 61 Merc. had them and were color matched. After that it was all belts. So really it wasn’t all that long ago that belts just weren’t an issue. Then the shoulder belts in 68 or so which was a great safety improvement to just lap belts.

I used to carpool with a guy who refused to wear a seat belt. Apparently he also knew someone who either died or nearly died because of a seat belt during a wreck.

He was a nice guy, but very stubborn and hard headed. About a year later he ended up buying a new car with one of those credit card convenience checks because, despite what friends, family, and even his regular bank had told him, he was convinced it was a “better deal”. Of course he paid dearly for it in terms of interest and financial heartache, I heard later. Some folks…

This one happened just a few miles from my house yesterday. It does not say if the driver was wearing a seat belt or not. But anytime I read driver was ejected along with found under the vehicle, my belief is he wasn’t.

For many years I worked with guys who owned sports cars and many rallied them. Nearly all went to the extra expense to purchase seat belts or harnesses in case of coupes. They had seen enough situations where seat belts save lives.

Tracy Morgan was severely injured and his friend died because they weren’t wearing seat belts. The driver walked away uninjured because he was wearing a seat belt.

Princess Diana died because she wasn’t wearing a seat belt. The only person wearing a seat belt in that car survived.

My parents’ 1965 Olds 98 was the first of our family cars with seatbelts. I had a small kid bratty habit of sneaking off my seatbelt. Then we got hit head on in a parking lot, so fortunately the speeds were fairly slow. But I still was thrown forward hard from the back seat into the back of the front seat. My knee got seriously bruised hitting the hard corner of a drop down vanity mirror that was on the back of the front seat. After that I always buckled up and stayed so without argument. To this day I won’t even drive through a parking lot without a fastened seatbelt.

My late father was a high school teacher. One of his students was out partying, not wearing seatbelts. The student and his girlfriend both went through the windshield. The student hit a tree and was decapitated. Not to sound like a jerk, but the police initially weren’t able to make a positive id until they searched and found his head :grimacing: