Seat belts separate car crashes from fatal car crashes. Statistics prove they save lives so why don’t all teens wear them every time they get in the car?
Here are the top 10 excuses teens use for why they don’t wear their seat belts:
Talking and texting with friends are distractions that can cause teens to forget to buckle their seat belts. The pressure of a parcel in their lap can make them feel as though they are belted. Buckling up needs to be a part of the start-up routine so they do it without thinking every time they get in the car.
2. Not enough seat belts for everyone
If 6 kids want to go and there are only 5 seat belts, they need another vehicle. Unbelted passengers are a danger to everyone else in the car. If the car stops suddenly, unbelted passengers become pinballs that bounce around, smashing into everyone else. They can die and kill someone else.
3. Don’t want to be beheaded!
This is one of those ridiculous urban legends that someone made up and now people repeat as truth. There have been extremely rare cases where cars have slammed into obstacles at such force that the bodies inside have been cut by their seat belts. In those cases, the passengers could not possibly have survived the crash anyway. And they are extremely, extremely rare. Seat belts save lives. Period.
4. So they can escape if the car goes off the road into a river
First – cars rarely go off the road into water. Second – if this rare thing did happen – the seat belt would keep them in their seat so they didn’t get knocked unconscious when the vehicle hit the water. At least, with the seat belt, they’d have a good chance of getting out alive.
5. Just going down the block
Life is unpredictable. Most crashes happen close to home.
6. Seat belt is uncomfortable
Make sure they’re wearing it properly so it’s not across their neck. Beyond that, it’s worth a little discomfort to save your life.
7. Nobody else wears one
If other people in the car are no wearing the seat belt, they need to either tell them to buckle-up or get out of the car. Driving in a car with unbelted passengers is very dangerous.
8. Don’t want to wreck their clothes
Their clothes won’t be ruined by a seat belt. If it’s that important to keep a special outfit crisp, they should change their clothes at the destination.
9. No seat belts in the back of the truck
Nobody should ever be riding in the back of a truck. It’s far too dangerous and illegal in most places.
10. They want to sleep
It’s dangerous to recline car seats too far, so they should stay fairly upright with their seat belts in place. (Face it – most teens could sleep through a tornado anyway.)
There is no good excuse not to wear a seat belt. Buckling up needs to be a habit everyone does without thinking. Talk with your teen about all the possible excuses they might have and make sure they know that none of them is okay.