Saturday, June 13, 2009

Uh, seriously?

There was a huge traffic accident in the area Tuesday. Traffic was backed up 10+ miles for hours. A friend was trying to go to class by taking the main freeway, and it took him 4.5 hours to complete about a 20 mile loop (which only got him about 6 miles on the freeway, and 15 or so back on back roads). I initially heard "drunk driver hit a car carrying two pregnant women" and I was so angry. Turns out, the SUV (an Expedition) was actually carrying 9 people. 1 man, 2 pregnant women and a whole herd of kids. 2 of the kids and one of the women were ejected from the car, because none of them had on seatbelts or were in car seats.


How irresponsible can you be?! I can't imagine not having the Boy in a car seat, and especially NOT in a seatbelt at the least. If you don't have enough room, take two cars. I don't see how this is complicated. I feel terrible for those kids, but those parents should be ashamed of themselves. I hope to goodness Child Protective Services is all over this. Thank God that none of those children were killed.


  1. What seems obvious from a relatively affluent point of view, looks different from other economic and cultural points of view.

    Taking two vehicles is not an option, when groceries would have to be sacrificed to afford a second vehicle, insurance, and fuel. Stressing too strenuously can get into cultural and racial bias.

    I was assigned to the Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, TX, about 1980. I couldn't get over the number of incidents - about two or three months - of rural families riding in a pickup, with a mattress in the bed of the pickup - and some number of children on the mattress. Every once in a while the wind would pick up the mattress and flip it out - often killing one or two children. Every two or three months, it seemed. Note that seatbelt laws usually don't apply to farm and ranch vehicles.

    In this case, with seat belts actually available, there really isn't an excuse, just laziness or maybe rebellion against an "unfair" law that might have reduced injuries. "Rolled several times" means there would still have been injuries, just different injuries.

  2. I think everybody should wear seatbelts, but I believe that on the basis of common sense. I'm not much for the state mandating things based on "it's good for you." People need to make their own choices, and some of them, for various reasons, are going to make bad choices.

  3. Seatbelts were designed to save lives. Sure at times a person may not want to wear one but they aren't that uncomfortable. This is just totally irresponsible to me.

  4. The Hermit,

    Unfortunately, unless the government requires us to use them - the car makers won't test to spec, nor provide them in all cars.

    For instance, the photo-eye that turns on the headlights when it gets dark - that cannot be a major cost to add to the computers and other guck the EPA mandates (that ruins mileage). If people wanted it - they would have to homekick the device for several years, before we could get Detroit to provide it on all models.

    Cruise control demonstrably saves gas. Yet it is optional in many cars, and not present (or working) in all.

    Seatbelts save lives one trip in hundred's; I have seen people defeat or ignore the belt because it causes wrinkles in clothes "this trip".

    Seatbelts also keep the driver in position, vastly increasing safety on rough roads or when driving aggressively. Yet not everyone plans to drive aggressively - let alone worry about safety when driving aggressively. So the seatbelts just lie there.

    The harsh might harken back to the theory of "thinning the gene pool", of removing all safety or speed laws. Those not suited to survival can quickly remove themselves from affecting the next generation. This would be similar to the Darwin Awards given out each year, but would be deliberately removing the safety rails.

    In this accident, one or two adults set the example (kids learn from the actions they see; adults teach them to ignore safety and verbal information) and failed to enforce the particular safety rule - seatbelts - and many suffered.

    On this trip. Recall, you had to add an out-of-control druggy to make seatbelts an issue, for this trip, for this family.

  5. Brad: that's exactly why I make the Boy buckle into his car seat at all times. I can control myself and how I drive and react to others. I cannot however, control how the people around me drive. When we were little, my parents would pack us in the car, but we also had to have on a seatbelt, even if it covered 2 kids.

    And WA's carseat standards are insane, I will be the first to say so. But to combat that, hospitals will give carseat vouchers to those who can't afford proper ones, and you can get them at police and firestations also.

    If you can afford to own a newer Expedition, and the gas it EATS, you can afford a booster seat.

  6. You touched my hotbutton on two counts- one- mandatory seat belt laws and -two- child protective services.

    In a free country the individual chooses whether to wear, on not to wear a seat belt. You do not get *pulled over* for not wearing it, and you do not pay a penalty tax.

    Child protective services are not. They do not. They are about one thing and that is destroying freedom and the nuclear family. They ruin children and they ruin families and they fly in the face of freedom loving people.

    The flip side of freedom is responsibility. Choose wisely.


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