Buckle Up!

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The national seat belt campaign will take place May 22 through June 4 and law enforcement agencies will crackdown on people not using seat belts and not properly restraining children. I am not sure why anyone would want to risk their life for what they think is discomfort and inconvenience. Here is a notice of a Click It or Ticket campaign planned for Rancho Cordova, California. Click It or Ticket Campaign-Rancho Cordova Pd Will Show Zero Tolerence.

When I learned to drive back in... Well, it was awhile ago and I learned to drive when I was 9. A few years later, I was driving legally. My parents and my brother were adamant about telling me to wear my seat belt but by then, the habit of “buckling up,” was firmly instilled in me. When I taught my brother to drive... legally, he was driving at 8 years old, I would remind him, “Buckle Up!” This sort of safety is something I will tell people when I see them in a car without a seat belt. The death and injuries that occur from not wearing a seatbelt are not worth the risk from any ill-conceived sense of convenience or comfort.

Back in the 80’s or so, there was a legislator who was a strong opponent to California’s seat belt law. He argued that a good driver could hold on to the steering wheel during an accident and keep from flying through the window. Soon after raising that argument, he was in a collision on a freeway and was thrown out of his car over the steering wheel he thought he could hold on to. He landed on his butt in the road.

Also in the 80’s, I helped disabled people at the junior college I attended. One of the young women I helped had to use a motorized chair that she could not drive herself. I drove her chair and I had to take her to the bathroom with another person. One person would hold her over the toilet while the other person removed her pants, so she could use the toilet, and wiped her afterward. I asked her what caused her condition. She said that she was in a car wreck when she was 8 years old and her mother died in the wreck.

In high school, a friend of mine was gone for a few days. When she came back to school, she was distraught. She was gone because her mother was a passenger in the car her dad was driving. The car got in a collision and the mother and family dog were ejected from the car and killed.
In the 90’s, I had a co-worker who shared x-rays of his head. The front half of his head was held together with what looked like perforated metal strapping tape. He had some unpredictable emotional issues and other problems. I asked what caused his condition. He said that he and two of his friends were in one friend’s pickup truck, driving on Highway 50 going through the foothills or sierras, I don’t recall. Highway 50 winds through the hills and mountains and has surprising turns with sharp drops off the side.

The driver of the truck was driving fast; there was a passenger in the middle and my co-worker in the passenger seat. None of the occupants of the vehicle were wearing seat belts. The passenger and co-worker told the driver to slow down. The pick-up approached an ominous turn and my co-worker said he heard a click and it was his friend in the middle seat fastening his seat belt. At that moment, the pick-up careened off the side of the road in to a tree. That is the last thing my co-worker remembered before waking up in the hospital after a brief coma.

My co-worker said that he was thrown from the vehicle about 20 feet. He sustained life-threatening injuries and severe head trauma that left him hospitalized for some time and with permanent brain and head injuries, although he recovered very well. The passenger, who buckled just in time, walked away at the scene and had no serious injuries. The driver of the pick-up was thrown from the vehicle and killed on impact with the tree.
I follow the case of the murders of Sam Herr and Julie Kibuishi that continues to raise unexpected twists and turns seven years since they were brutally killed. Their killer, Dan Wozniak, is condemned to die on California’s Death Row. One of the first officers to interview Wozniak days after the murders, Detective Mike Delgadillo, a 32-year veteran of the Costa Mesa Police Department with an impressive record, died in a car crash in March 2013. Some media reports suggest that there were attempts to conceal the circumstances of the crash but at least one news source reported what happened.

Delgadillo was reported to have been driving his small sedan alone at night when he collided with a cement column. He had a blood alcohol content, he was texting, he was speeding, he failed to stay in his lane, and he was not wearing a seatbelt. While there are multiple factors for why the collision occurred, a seatbelt could have saved his life.

Seat belts save lives! Not wearing a seat belt could ruin your life or end it. The emotional toll you can cost your loved ones is not worth your misguided sense of comfort.