Yes, seatbelts do save lives

  • Published
  • By Daniel Vannier
  • 509th Communications Squadron
Folks, please allow me to take up a little of your bandwidth, email storage, time and attention for a moment. Maybe the boss will let this serve as your weekend safety briefing.

I know it's the law, and most people wear their seatbelts, but for those of you who disagree with the law or are prone to forget to "click it" when you get in the car, this commentary is for you.

On the night of Nov. 25, my 18-year-old son, Daniel, walked away from the truck shown in the pictures, after a head-on collision with another truck.

Albeit bruised, sore and swollen today, all his x-rays, CT scans and other medical inspections came back showing no major injuries. I saw the occupants of the other vehicle standing there after the accident, as well.

Though shaken, they appeared to be uninjured. Fortunately, they were all wearing their seatbelts and their vehicles were equipped with airbags - blessings for which I am extremely thankful.

What you may not know is why this is such a poignant and important issue to me. On Feb. 11, 2006, Daniel's older brother, Walter, was not so fortunate. He was involved in a single-vehicle accident and was not wearing a seatbelt.

It was just a short trip to a friend's house. Less of an impact, less "G" force, probably less speed. Walt spent seven days in a critical care unit and was in a coma.

On the seventh day, he succumbed to multiple internal injuries, including fractures and substantial trauma. His body shut down, and he passed away.

It was a terrible and extremely painful way for his younger siblings to learn ever so strongly just how critical taking preventive measures can be.

Some say if it's your time to go and the big guy deems it so, then so be it. I won't question that. But I do strongly assert that we are given the choice to practice responsibility when it comes to making choices that affect our physical well-being and that of others.

There are a lot of slogans out there - "Click It or Ticket," "Seatbelts Save Lives," "Sit, Click and Drive." They are designed to jog your memory, get you to "think." They are advertised and endorsed by people who care, who don't want people to get hurt or killed. But ultimately, it all comes down to the choice YOU make.

Buckle up! Buckle up because it's the law; buckle up because it may save your life; buckle up for those you love; buckle up for those who love you. Teach your children the same habits. Show them by example, please.