I'm surprised at myself. I've run this site since 2004 and never once ranted about seatbelts. It's odd to me since, in real life, I'm one of those assholes who won't even start the car if you're not wearing a seatbelt. Oh yes, I'm one of THEM. I've been that way since I was a teenager and say a friend of mine badly injured in a car wreck because he wasn't buckled up. The truck he was in flipped and tossed his ass right out the window. The driver of the truck - who had been wearing his seat belt - was fine.
It always seemed to me to be good common sense, really. I mean, you're in a machine barrelling along at many times greater speeds than the human body was ever naturally meant to move, it's probably a good idea to strap yourself in for the ride.
I was about 22 when I got my first taste of something that I now know to be a simple fact of life: No matter how sensible a position may be, there's always somebody who will consider it stupid. I was dating a woman named Amy. Amy was 28 and had a 4 year old daughter. I loved them both dearly and had great respect for Amy's intellect, which is why it baffled me to discover that she absolutely refused to wear a seatbelt OR to buckle her daughter up! I was blown away! This was a position I was simply not prepared for. To even see that such a point of view existed was incredible to me. Amy's explanation was that seatbelts cause more injuries than they prevent. Seatbelts, according to her, had been known to cause ruptured internal organs and such! Upon further thought, she was probably right that seatbelts can cause such injuries. I mean, THAT is also pretty much common sense if you ever stop to think about it (which I hadn't). I mean, of course a strap holding you in place could harm you - duh!
Further research, however, shows that any real serious injury from a seatbelt is rare. You'll always have bruising (sometimes really bad) from a seatbelt. You're fairly likely to have a cracked or broken sternum (that's the hard solid part of your rib cage in the middle of your chest) and you stand a small (but still realistic) chance of suffering intestinal or other abdominal injuries due to the blunt force trauma from the belt across your abdomen. AH, but I had this funny idea that further research my shows us something more. My idea was that digging a little deeper into the publicly available statistics might show at least a correlation (perhaps even a direct causal relationship) between these injuries and their presense in high speed collisions. OH, look at that, it appears that my further research has shown EXACTLY THAT.
ATTENTION GENIUSES: If you're going 75 on the Interstate (the speed limit in most places), the odds of you getting injured by your seat belt ARE VERY LOW. If you're doing 90-100, the odds are much greater. If you're in excess of 100mph, you can almost count on a seatbelt related injury greater than the standard bruising that occurs with any wreck.
My dear Amy never had much to worry about, you see. She was a good driver and wouldn't have flown like a bat out of hell, especially with her kid in the car. All those horror stories she'd heard about were most likely the result of very fast and very unsafe driving. Just because you have a fucking seatbelt on doesn't make you invincible and, as Amy taught me, it can be the source of your greatest injuries if you're stupid enough to drive so goddamn fast in the first place.
Let me clue you anti-seatbelt morons in on something that maybe your mommy and daddy should've told you when you learned to drive: When you reach speeds around 100mph, there is nothing in a standard vehicle that can adequately protect you at those speeds, IDIOT! You wanna drive that fast, get a race car, go to your local dirt track. Race cars have steel roll cages and 5-point harnesses DESIGNED to protect you at those high speeds! Standard cars sold in every country DON'T have anything designed to protect you at those speeds because you're not supposed to be GOING at those speeds anyway, retard!
My point? My point is to point out to you pointed-head anti-seatbelt dildos that pretty much the only way a seatbelt becomes dangerous to you is when YOU are doing something wrong; when YOU are operating the vehicle or the seatbelt itself in ways that it is not designed for. YOU are the ones at fault, so stop bitching!
Now, anti-seatbelt whiners will probably have much to say about this rant. They're a very loud minority on the Internet. They'll bitch at me and they'll point out this study or that study about Billy Bo Bob Bumpkin who drag-raced his daddy's pickup truck down County Road 14 with a Nitrous injection rigged up and hit a fucking deer at 130mph and the seat belt burst his fucking spleen open and OMFG GALEN CAN'T U SEE HOW DANGEROUS SEATBELTS ARE!!!1!!!
And they'd have a point. Seatbelts CAN be dangerous (sometimes even when used properly and when the driver isn't doing dumbfuck things). Funny thing about anti-seatbelt loons is that they change the subject really fast when you bring up the MOUNTAIN of studies about what happens to you if you're NOT wearing a seatbelt in a collision. See, I could pick out some safety device and find examples of extreme circumstances in which those devices proved dangerous as well. The anti-seatbelt loons HAVE to pick out the extreme (and rare) situations because without that, they'd have no argument.
And that's the trouble with you anti-seatbelt morons: Failure to follow the scientific method. You already have an opinion and you seek out evidence to back it up and to discredit the opposing evidence. That's backwards, idiot. You're supposed to look at ALL the evidence in order to form your opinion. Your worst-case-scenarios do not impress me.
Now, don't get me wrong, we all forget to buckle up sometimes and I want to make it clear that that's NOT what I'm talking about. It's a bit of an irony that the only wreck I've ever actually been in, I was not wearing a seat belt. I'd simply forgotten to put it on! So let me just make it clear that I'm not talking about every single person who doesn't wear a seatbelt. No, no, I'm talking directly to the people who make a conscious decision to refuse to buckle up. Just so we're clear.
I'd like to leave you all today with a Christmas story. My 2yo neice got a brand new pair of roller skates (or, as she calls them, "wollergates") from my parents. Along with the skates, she also got a helmet, knee pads, and elbow pads (all Dora the Explorer, lol so cute). Things were going fine with her trying to skate along until she didn't want the helmet anymore. She protested, and was told no. She started to throw a tantrum and threw off her helmet. She was promptly picked up, taken in the house, and told that if she couldn't keep her helmet on, she wouldn't be allowed to skate. The conditions were clear: Helmet on = skating; helmet off = no skating. She cried, she screamed, she had a mighty fit over it. No one gave in to her and no one sympathized with her position.
Now, me being the staunch Youth Rights advocate I am, some might wonder why I'm ok with this. I know many YR people who would argue, even for this 2yo, that it's her body and she has every right to risk its safety. She would learn, from experience, why the helmet is important. In theory, I agree with this. Yes, it's her head and, yes, she has the right to risk it if she so chooses. But here's the problem with that. The very fact that she WANTED to take such a risk demonstrates her immaturity and lack of ability to MAKE such a decision in the first place, thus negating her right to make the decision.
The comparison should be obvious here. Yes, you anti-seatbelts dolts DO have every right to risk your own bodies if you so choose. You DO have the right to choose not to wear a seatbelt. However, just like my neice, the very fact that you would choose not to wear a seatbelt immediately demonstrates your immaturity and lack of ability to make that decision in the first place, thus negating your right to make the decision. Simply put, you are a screaming 2yo and the rest of us don't give a shit about your fucking tantrum. You are as ignorant about seatbelts as my little neice is about head protection. The difference is that she's fucking TWO and has a good reason for not understanding this sort of thing. YOU have no excuse.
And this is why Lord Galen supports those "horrible fascist" seat belt laws. Because sometimes people are just too stupid to be trusted to do the right thing on their own and they must be FORCED into defying their own ignorance. It's a shame that you people require a goddamn LAW to act in the same capacity as my parents acted with their 2yo granddaughter. You should be ashamed of your stupidity. Of course, you're not. You're proud of it; so proud that you'll still defend it and you'll call ME the "brainwashed" idiot. And really, when it comes right down to it, I'm really not all that in favor of seatbelt laws because of one simple reason. If you're too stupid to buckle up without being forced to do it, then I WANT you to die so that your stupidity can't be passed on to the next generation. That's natural selection right there. Have fun playing Superman out the front windshield of your car at 90mph, dumbfuck.