Seat Belts (or Safety Belts)

Whether you call it a seat belt, safety belt, or racing harness, that thing that keeps you securely in your seat is a true lifesaver. In this article, we will take a look at the importance of seat belts and how our perception of them has changed over time. Also, as a bonus, I will show you a fun way to get kids to want to put on their seat belts.

No Seat Belts!

The first thing that nearly everyone says when they get into my 1931 Model A Ford is, “No seat belts!”. Kids love it, but it makes most adults a little nervous. Truthfully, it makes me a little nervous too.

There was a time when seat belts were not included in cars; they were a safety option that could be purchased for an additional cost. But that, of course, is history. Now, wearing a seat belt is mandatory. It’s not optional. In fact, it’s become so commonplace that kids and adults have become quite used to strapping themselves in when going for a ride. If for no other reason, we are sure to click that safety belt just to turn off the annoying seat belt alarm.

Truly Keeping You Safe

There are some things that we, as drivers, are now required to do that keep us safe. They’re not just laws put into place to annoy us. I know this first hand. Before you roll your eyes and say to yourself, “Oh no, here comes a two-hour sermon on the virtues of safety belts,” let me assure you I have only a brief story. I NEVER used to wear my seat belt. Why? Mostly because I was young and stupid. I thought it was an unnecessary hassle.

One day I was driving home after visiting my brother from work. I was in my 1980 Mazda RX-7. I was feeling great. The sun was out, the birds were singing… blah, blah. I pulled up to a stoplight and came to a stop. Suddenly, the most horrific, loud, guttural roar came upon me. My glasses flew off, hitting the dashboard. I was rear-ended.

For all intents and circumstances, my car was totaled. That day I wore my seat belt. Why? Again I don’t know. Perhaps it was dumb luck. What I do know is that if I hadn’t been wearing my seat belt, my head would have gone through the windshield. But it didn’t. I remember that day very well and wear my seat belt because of it, and the law.

The Law

Yes, it is the law. You must wear your seat belt. I know of people who have been pulled over ONLY because they weren’t wearing their seat belt. I know it sometimes is a pain. And sometimes when you are only going a few blocks, you might want to skip it. But most accidents happen within a few miles from your home, so take the time and buckle up.

Getting Kids to Buckle Up

So here is how to get kids to want to buckle up. Pretend you are race car drivers and you MUST buckle up before you zoom off. All race car drivers wear racing harnesses.  You can pretend you are all putting on your racing harnesses before you go on your adventure. If there’s one thing most kids love, it’s going on adventures. Try it!

Written by Gary Pradel