shattering illusions

OK, before we begin let me just state for the record: seat belts don’t save lives

[we pause for the clamor to die down]

ready to listen? OK good

save is a verb .. implying action (and choice) of some sort (ignoring for the moment ‘verbs of ‘being’ because I’m willing to concede that seat-belts do in fact exist). Since the seat-belt is (as far as current science can determine) an inanimate object, it is by definition incapable of executing any action.

The seat belt just sits there. Buckled or not, it will not take action, ever. It is totally, completely, entirely indifferent to your well being, your life or any injuries you may or may not sustain. It is not a life support device. You will not fall over dead if you unbuckle. Henry Ford manufactured more than a few automobiles that had no seat-belt and the drivers of those vehicles did not keel over. I have been on several airplanes and the unfasten your seat-belt sign is not a secret plot to kill us all.

We’ve all heard the phrase: guns don’t kill people, people kill people. Right? People save people. If you want to piss some Paramedic off right quick let him and his partner work on you for 45 min while you try to walk into the big bright light, and then go thank the seat-belt.

In self defense class we taught people to check the back seats prior to entering the vehicle and putting on a seat-belt. A hostile attacker can control you easily by wrapping the seat-belt around your neck. Strangling you is certainly not saving your life.

OK, again for the record: no one dies from driving while driving.

Folks can die from other causes while driving .. but sitting in the seat and looking out the window at the road while pressing the pedals and holding the steering wheel does not cause you to die.

collisions result in damage/injury which causes death. What we in the motorcycle safety class call ‘impact trauma’ or ‘deceleration trauma’ cause death.

People cause collisions. Careless people or stupid people cause collisions. Lack of maintenance (see carelessness) or equipment failure cause collisions.

[pause for the act of God people to chime in]

rain doesn’t cause collisions – going out in the rain and ignoring the road conditions (see carelessness and or stupidity) causes collisions. I’m willing to admit the occurrence of acts of God… but if you think a seat-belt is going to thwart God in any way then you should probably stop reading this and go re-read the KJV Bible again. Pay special attention to any passage that mentions the phrase ‘all powerful’. Satan is not arming himself or his minions with seat-belts in order to impede God’s will.

to sum up
People cause harm to other people.
guns don’t get up at night and shoot people; they are man-made tools.
seat-belts don’t whisper in your ear to buckle up; they are man-made tools.
cars don’t decide all on their own to run red lights; they are man-made tools.

I train with my handgun because other people can harm me.
-Earmuffs are an example of additional tools I can use during my training.
I train with my automobile because other people can harm me.
-Seat-belts are an example of additional tools I can use during my training.

People have created, designed and used TOOLS to change the way we interact with other people or objects. The good or bad exists only in the intent of the user. Proper training and use of TOOLS can increase your safety. Improper/Irresponsible use can endanger everyone.
It is not the fault of the TOOL. It is the fault of the PERSON. The tool does not make the choice. The tool does not take action. The people make the choices; for good or ill. The responsibility lies with the person making the choice; the person using (or not using) the tool.

[today’s muse: Texas Highway Patrol]


Posted on September 9, 2010, in driver's ed. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.


    The medic with 45 min. of sweat over you, or bitchy partner, will probably do harm to you if you give credit to the seat belt.

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