Archive for Saturday, January 12, 2013

Letter: Buckle up

January 12, 2013


To the editor:

How sad and what a waste! In the last few weeks, several young men have lost their lives in car accidents,  including two law enforcement officers. They had one thing in common: none was wearing a seat belt.  There’s no assurance that seat belts would have saved their lives, but there is a good possibility such a simple safety device would have increased their chances of survival. 

In my many years of life on this planet, I could cite numerous instances when this one-second click did indeed make a difference in whether a person lived or died. If you, the driver or passenger, are too “macho” to use seat belts, think of those who love you and will be devastated by your untimely death or severe injury.

Drivers, please refuse to turn on the ignition unless everyone is buckled up. It’s the least we can do to provide some measure of safety for our family and friends.  


Ron Holzwarth 5 years, 5 months ago

Don't look at me, after surviving a couple of serious highway crashes, of which I was the driver of only one, you're preaching to the choir. I honestly don't see how anyone can do the most dangerous thing that any of us will ever do in our lives without utilizing the most effective and basic piece of safety equipment available.

I dare you to experience a takeoff in a jet airliner while standing in the isle of the plane (if you were allowed to). That would be much, much safer than riding in a car without a seat belt.

Abdu Omar 5 years, 5 months ago

Oh yeah? go ride a motorcycle at 100 miles an hour without a helmet. That is even more foolish.

Liberty275 5 years, 5 months ago

"Letter: Buckle up"

I do when I deem it necessary.

JayCat_67 5 years, 5 months ago

I don't know. I deem it necessary whenever I get into my vehicle to go somewhere.

Liberty275 5 years, 5 months ago

"what exactly do you deem necessary?"

Over 70 for 20 minutes or so. Topeka, Bonner Springs and points beyond is what it turns out to be in the practical sense. In Lawrence proper, never.

" I see another fatality in the future. sorry for your loss"

That is very kind of you.

number3of5 5 years, 5 months ago

Seat belts are not necessary! I drove for years without them. They simply did not exist. I did not have wrecks that took lives or caused injuries.. People knew how to follow the rules of driving. They drove the speed limits, did not try to act like the road was only for them, and they started out early enough to get to work on time. Children were taught to sit on the seat and not stick body parts out the windows. Safety first was the order of the day. I do wear mine because it is the law and laws were set in place to be obeyed.........

jhawkinsf 5 years, 5 months ago

Time is the enemy of memory. I also lived through those times when not only were seat belts not required, but many older cars didn't even come with that option. My memory of everyone's driving habits differs from yours.

JayCat_67 5 years, 5 months ago

Funny, your first sentence is in the present tense, while everything else supporting it is in the past.... curiouser and curiouser....

Liberty275 5 years, 5 months ago

" I do wear mine because it is the law and laws were set in place to be obeyed........."

I thought they were for punishing people that break them.

We have different concepts of law.

Liberty275 5 years, 5 months ago

You will most likely be ejected while your car is rolling and you may not believe this, but you don't really have any control over your car while it is rolling. After a car stops rolling, it's going to flop down on one side or the other.

I've done it. 7 barrel rolls, no seat belt, 1 scratch. Ended up on the roof.

Katara 5 years, 5 months ago

My friend from high school was ejected from his car in an accident because he was not wearing a seatbelt but the car rolled over on him and crushed him. You were lucky. He was not.

Liberty275 5 years, 5 months ago

That's terrible that you lost your friend. I hope for your sake I don't sound callous, but I just want to retain control over my life, that's all.

Your way is better and they can punish me when they catch me. I could also die in a freak accident on the way to get coffee tomorrow. I'm wrong and putting my life in needless danger. That''s the price I pay for being me.

Linda and Bill Houghton 5 years, 5 months ago

Ice is not always obvious. I think that it was our first classmate (LMHS, class of 1953) who lost her life because of that. Her life might have been saved if seat belts had been available then.

Ron Holzwarth: aisle, not isle.

Ron Holzwarth 5 years, 5 months ago

Oh. I thought spellcheck was 100%, even at 1:30 AM!

bearded_gnome 5 years, 5 months ago

^^Ron Holzwarth: aisle, not isle.

---unless it's one very unusual aircraft!

JayCat_67 5 years, 5 months ago

Maybe one of Mr. Branson's planes, perhaps.

bearded_gnome 5 years, 5 months ago

Anna Slemmer's LTE wrote: If you, the driver or passenger, are too “macho” to use seat belts, think of those who love you ...

---Ms. Slemmer, shame on you. the investigation is far from complete on officer Klock's accident and you ascribe his failure to deploy seatbelts to machismo. shame on you.

there are plenty of innocent reasons. please give the dead, especially a now dead peace officer, the benefit of the doubt while we have no information on his tragic accident.

*I do agree: use seatbelts, they save lives. but sometimes people are ill and sometimes equipment fails.

Ron Holzwarth 5 years, 5 months ago

I had a 1965 Chevrolet Impala that used to bug me no end because the seat belt would unbuckle while I was driving, apparently for no reason.

But, maybe the car was haunted, and a ghost was doing it.

Liberty275 5 years, 5 months ago

It probably caught you looking at a Fairlane.

Joe Hyde 5 years, 5 months ago

I don't know if accident statistics support this, but the years I've spent reading about ejection-type fatalities has led me to think that drivers who live in smaller cities, towns and rural areas are more prone to dismissing the lifesaving importance of wearing seat belts/shoulder restraints. Maybe it's got something to do with the sense of security that comes from living in a typically more relaxed social environment (compared to a busy large city); or, it could be an expression of defiance of authority. Who knows?

Whatever the reason, it seems to me than drivers who live in small towns or rural areas are the "victim group" killed most often in ejection-type accidents. If that's true, the irony is that small towns and rural areas are hotbeds of NASCAR fandom (understandable anywhere, given the incredible skill and bravery of NASCAR drivers). But for a lot of race fans, perhaps their love of stock car racing does not include emulating their heroes, those drivers who always strap in with seat belt and shoulder harness restraints.

One thing's for certain: in a racetrack crash you will never, ever, see a NASCAR driver ejected from his or her vehicle. Professional drivers aren't risk takers, they are world-class control freaks who are not about to let Newton's Laws of Motion fling their body out of any car they're driving. And you can believe their safety attitude includes strapping in even if it's for a run to the store for a dozen eggs.

rtwngr 5 years, 5 months ago

Hey, if it was good enough for me to go flying down the highway, standing between my folks on the front seat of the queen family truckster at 70 mph, then it's good enough for my kids!

Susan Mangan 5 years, 5 months ago

People weren't, necessarily, better drivers decades ago. We just didn't have instant news that was disseminated coast-to-coast describing the horror stories, when they happened. I had a great-great uncle who, in the 1940s, was lucky to escape an accident alive. But the rest of his family died. Out for a "Sunday drive", on a hilly road (much like Hwy 40, West of Lawrence) in North Carolina, one day, he topped a hill and came bumper to bumper with a car load of kids joyriding. They made the decision to pass on a hill and killed four people in my uncle's car. Some teenagers (and some grown-ups, too, I know) have always made dangerous decisions, while driving, because of their inherent sense of immortality. Always happened and, unfortunately, always will.

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