Thursday, May 31, 2007

Buckle Up

Growing up, my father would often be driving my friends and myself to different places - baseball, swimming, basketball, whatever. He would always say that he wouldn't start driving until everyone had their seatbelt on, much to the dismay of some friends, particularly those whose own parents weren't as insistent. I never understood the other parents or kids - it's not a big deal to put on a seatbelt, and it's pretty clear that it can save your life. I was happy when I was in Israel and they finally started putting out really powerful ads on the radio and TV encouraging people to wear belts, seeing as more people die in car crashes than terrorist attacks each year there. And now, I'm happy to see this excellent ad (posted on Chaim's blog) by New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine, who was almost killed in a car crash a few months ago because he wasn't wearing his own seatbelt. It's simple, honest, powerful, and to the point.

Another small note: Unbuckling for "just a few seconds to grab something from the back" in a moving car is extremely dangerous. We know people who have been hurt badly in those few seconds. Moreover, just the fact that you're reaching around makes it that much more likely that the driver will be distracted or otherwise unable to see and get in a crash. Wait until the car is stopped, and don't start driving again until the person is buckled. The three seconds of waiting won't kill you; riding without a seatbelt might.


  1. This weekend they were doing a big "Click-it or ticket" sweep. I got pulled over for going 70 in a 55. After I was already parked on the shoulder, I took off my seatbelt to find my registration in the glove compartment. When the cop came back he said "I can either give you a $90 ticket with 2 points for going 70 in a 55, or I can give you a $25 ticket for not wearing your seatbelt."
    And thus I became a statistic.
    PS That makes up for you not getting any tickets on your Cleveland road trip

  2. 70 in a 55? Diana, don't you know that Delaware is notorious? Especially on holiday weekends.

    I've been getting the YouTube video forwarded from everyone, but always good to promote buckling up.

  3. I was driving from Baltimore to Olney!

  4. ezzie- you'll appreciate this cuz you know my dad.
    When we were kids, he would drive the afternoon carpool. first he would close the back door of our station wagon (remember sitting backwards? i was the youngest kid in the carpool and suffered that seat for years.) anyhow, after he closed it, he would get in the car and start the engine. Then he'd call the names of all the kids in the car and they'd have to answer that their belt was buckled. however, "yes" wasn't a good answer. it had to be creative, like "yabba dabba doo" or "ready for takeoff".... ah, the good ol days. gotta love my dad.

  5. When I worked in Pennsylvania in the 80's, my employer had a policy that any employee caught in a traffic collision while not wearing his seatbelt could be fired instantly. I think they had received one too many insurance claims for salespeople injured while driving. I think accidents on personal time also fell under this policy.

  6. It makes me absolutely sick to see how many parents here in Israel let their kids climb around the back seat!