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windjamer

seat belts,your thoughts

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Due to the increase of fine,now $ 165.00 I have been fourced to start useing my seat belt. This law affects NO ONE but the individual and I feel that it should be a matter of Choice.In the past 30 years I have seen three incidents where an individual woud be dead had I not carried a sharp knife and now a seat belt cutter Outher than a lap belt I have yet to see a belt that did not come accross the kneck and iratate the he** out of the person. What are your thoughts, ??

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Benefits of AACA Membership.

I actually installed seat belts in my 1967 Mercury Park Lane convertible. Since it is a convertible, I can't install shoulder belts.

Reasons:

The "cutoff" year for seatbelt legalization is 1968. Pre-1968 cars, like my Park Lane, would be exempt from this law. This means, that driving it now without seatbelts installed, would be theoretically legal, but I would have to debate a police officer on the side of the road if he pulled me over and asked where the seatbelts were. It's just easier with them in.

Secondly: for safety. I've heard the reports of "he would have died if he were wearing the seatbelt" but I to be honest, I feel safer wearing it while driving this giant hunk of rolling metal. And you never know when a jackass driver is going to veer in front of you and slam on his brakes. That happened to me last year. I had to slam on my brakes, and had I not been wearing a seatbelt, I probably wouldn't have been able to stay in my seat.

Thirdly: baby seat. I wanted to be able to transport our new baby in the car, and baby seats require seatbelts. No seatbelts=no baby in car=less fun in owning this car.

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Just yesterday a guy, 42 years old, was killed at the scene of his accident because the Jeep Wrangler he was driving went into a shallow ditch, flipped, threw him out and he was killed. No seatbelt. I drive that very stretch of road about once a week.

About eight years ago a nineteen year old girl who kept her horses at the barn where I used to keep mine died when she was thrown from her beloved purple Ford Ranger truck and then it rolled over her crushing her. It was raining and she was driving too fast around a curve. No seatbelt. Her friend was wearing a seatbelt, stayed in the truck and had minor injuries. The girl that died was an only child. Her father came out to the barn on what should have been her twentieth birthday. I was the only one there. He hugged me and started to cry saying, "I didn't know what to do. So I came out here where she was so happy when she was alive." They gave her favorite horse to her best friend that lived across from the barn. Those parents and the rest of her family will never be the same. The barn owner always said to her as she left, "Slow down and put your seatbelt on." We all sure wish she had listened to him.

My dad installed a bright red seatbelt in the backseat in the new 1965 Dodge Dart GT that he ordered. I was fourteen and I am now fifty-eight and I have worn a seatbelt ever since. I would not ride in/drive the Mercedes until Bill replaced the seatbelts because the web was old and had cuts in both of them.

I got seatbelt adjusters at Advance Auto and the seatbelts do not cut into my neck at all. There are several types of them and they are not expensive.

You are a nice man wj. Please protect yourself.

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Three teenagers were killed last week near here, when they were thrown out of the vehicle. The four wearing their belts survived.

Sometimes your Big Brother is right.

Jim

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Due to the increase of fine,now $ 165.00 I have been fourced to start useing my seat belt. This law affects NO ONE but the individual and I feel that it should be a matter of Choice.In the past 30 years I have seen three incidents where an individual woud be dead had I not carried a sharp knife and now a seat belt cutter Outher than a lap belt I have yet to see a belt that did not come accross the kneck and iratate the he** out of the person. What are your thoughts, ??

Normally I would agree with you. The decision to not use seatbelts (or motorcyle helmets) is simply evolution in action. If it truly did not affect me, I would not care what you did. Unfortunately, every injury or death attributed to not wearing seatbelts (or helmets) causes MY insurance bill to go up (where did you think that money came from?). Are you willing to accept a reduced insurance payment in exchange for the right not to wear a belt? In that case, do whatever you want.

As for the "trapped in a burning auto" argument, sorry. Three POSSIBLE examples you've brought up verses probably 300,000 cases where seatbelts DID save lives. I'll take those odds.

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As for the "trapped in a burning auto" argument, sorry.

An additonal item to have for getting out of a vehicle incase the doors are blocked or jammed was suggested by a safety expert that was on the Oprah show several years ago.

It is a spring loaded punch used normally to mark metal. It will shatter even auto glass in a hurry. Oprah has the fear of going into water in a vehicle and not being able to get out. Many people say that is why they won't wear a seatbelt, even though going into water is fairly rare. He brought a car onto the stage and put the punch at the curve in the side window glass and pushed it. The glass shattered in crumbles. Then he had her do it to another window. It worked like a charm no matter if used from inside or outside. I got ours at the local Harbour Freight store for less than $4 each.

We have one in all of our vehicles but the Mercedes. I will get one for it. We have never had to use one but I feel better knowing that we have them.

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My first new car with factory seatbelts was a brand new 1963 Pontiac Tempest sedan. At the time I was living in Southern CA where 4-5 lanes of traffic doing 70-80 mph was the norm and I felt a bit more comfortable with a belt on as I grew in the country.

In 1981 I hit a truck laid over on the roadway in the fog with my 71 Chevy Impala. The separate lap and shoulder belts kept me in the car and behind the wheel. although my car was destroyed. i was able to get out and plant flares before the next 2 vehicles, large trucks, came along. I think the belts might have been a lifesaver in my case.

I hope you haven't disconnected your airbags too.

Martin Lum

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Been wearing seat belts since my father installed them in the 61 Valiant when I was a child. I've installed lap belts in my 1933. While not as good as a shoulder belt setup it should help some in the event of an accident.

One issue with seat belt and helmet laws "affecting no one except the individual": A lot of the brain dead people from motorcycle accidents end up using public support after their insurance and family resources are exhausted. Change the law to say that if you are injured while not taking all reasonable precautions (helmet on motorcycle, seat belts in cars, etc.) then there will be no public money or money from the other individuals in the accident used to care for you. Then go ahead and your lack of care will not affect me. Until then your lack of care may cost the public and so the public has an interest in the situation.

If you get the law changed so that the government and other parties have no responsibility to cover your expenses then go ahead, leave that belt off. In that case it won't affect me other than some regret for your family when your injuries or death devastate them financially.

(Along that line, there is a mandatory bicycle helmet law for children in my state but not for adults. It amazes me when I see a family riding where the parents are without helmets. Who do those people think are going to care for their children when they get a head injury? And by not wearing a helmet they are sending a message to their children that helmets are only for children.)

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(Along that line, there is a mandatory bicycle helmet law for children in my state but not for adults. It amazes me when I see a family riding where the parents are without helmets. Who do those people think are going to care for their children when they get a head injury? And by not wearing a helmet they are sending a message to their children that helmets are only for children.)

Here too but only until age fourteen. Then they get to choose.

Whether it is seatbelts, helmets or life in general there is a certain truth to the saying "Children go where they are lead, not where they are pointed". As adults we should set a good example. Or if they can't at least kids can see what not to do or how to act. :eek:

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Windjamer, us old folk need to learn from our kids....wear the belt...most kids do because of the tough fines and they can't afford the fines.

I am starting to get used to them at 58. Matter of fact, I did feel a little safer hauling a heavy trailer load to a show last Sat. My tow-er is a 66 Chevy camper special that I did fit with shoulder belts fron a Cavalier station wagon when I restored it in 95.

They do make some sort of clip thing that keeps the belt a little looser fitting, but I don't have one.

Do it for the people who want to see you stay healthy.

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The decision to not use seatbelts (or motorcyle helmets) is simply evolution in action. If it truly did not affect me, I would not care what you did. Unfortunately, every injury or death attributed to not wearing seatbelts (or helmets) causes MY insurance bill to go up (where did you think that money came from?).

A while back the Harley riders of PA pressured the PA legislature to rescind the helmet law in PA. According to the insurance lobby this resulted in an increase of insurance premiums of roughly $20.00 per car (which normally should be taken with an obvious grain of salt). They came about this figure by multiplying the additional head injury rate by the number of motorcycle riders, and dividing that by the number of registered (and therefore in PA insured) cars.

That estimate was using conservative 20+ year old numbers. Today probably twice that amount per car is paid by everyone who lives in a no-helmet state.

Our cars today are smaller, lighter, and faster than they've ever been. Yet the highway death rate is about 25% of what it was in 1966 (on roads twice as crowded). (Highway Death Rate for 2004 Sets Record Low)

Not using a seat belt is a personal choice in the same way walking along the railing instead of the sidewalk over a bridge is a personal choice. Period.

Edited by Dave@Moon
added 2nd paragraph (see edit history)

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The stories about 'he would have died if he had a seat belt on" don't stand up under the years and years of research, statistics and observations by people who deal with accidents and death in large numbers.

As an Air Force public affairs officer, I have sat through countless accident and fatality review panels and investigation briefings. The results are so clear, they scream. Seatbelts work. Airbags work. Cars are safer, as long as you stay IN the car.

And, if you think seat belt use is ONLY a personal choice, consider the following:

1) The family members you leave behind when you are dead. They have to arrange your funeral, go through and dispose of your personal property, possibly deal with significant medical bills, and that is only the begining. They then get to adjust to life without you, figure out how to live without the income you provided to the family, and even more. The missed holidays, anniversaries, birthdays, graduations and weddings go on, without you. And, that is if you die. If you are comatose, they get to do nearly all of this AND select a nursing home or convalescent long-term care facility for you......if they can afford one.

2) The others that may be affected in or around the accident. Sometimes those people ejected from the car are then run over by cars coming up a fraction of a second later. That driver (or drivers) must ask if you would have lived if they had not run over you with their car. Lots of grief to lay on someone else, don't you think?

3) The resources you use up could have gone to someone else. Unfortunately, those ejected from cars don't always die quickly. They go to the ER, tie up the staff, blood, drugs, lab resources and X-ray, MRI or other diagnostic equipment that could have been used on someone else, possibly involved in that same accident. All for an accident victim the staff is trying valiantly to save, knowing the odds are against them due to the incredibly violent trauma your body has gone through because you were ejected from your car or truck.

Finally, just think about the technology you are denying yourself if you are not belted in and ejected from the car.

As Dave said, most cars are go much faster than they did 20-30 years ago, and they are smaller. Yet, it is not unusual for even an entry-level car to have 4, 6 or even 8 airbags, ABS, stability control, traction control, OnStar (to call 911 with your GPS coordinates when the airbags deploy) and even more. ALL of this technology is useless and wasted if you are lying 10-20 feet outside the car. And, of course, your skeleton and vital organs took the 50, 60 or 70 MPH impact, not the car and all that safety technology.

You want to be a rebel or thumb your nose at society?

Grow your hair (or shave your hair) get an earring, a tattoo, wear an ugly shirt with a message on it, contribute to your favorite political cause (conservative OR liberal), wirte letters to the editor, get involved in local politics. But don't offer up your body just to "prove a point."

Please, windjammer. Think about this some more.

Joe (Totalled 4 cars in my life due to other driver's neglegence and lived to tell about it)

Edited by Reatta Man (see edit history)

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I have a question related to the subject. I have a 1957 Pontiac, which had dealer accessory seatbelts available but very rarely seen. I have purchased some that look similar--not exactly identical, but they are new, period correct, and I can show an original Pontiac accessory guidebook that would show the belt and buckles in place and looking correct. If I install them neatly will they be held against me in judging? Any input is appreciated, thanks, Todd

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poci1957, I am going to jump in without actually taking the time to review the exact wording of the rules, They should be allowed as a safety item without deduction as long as they are in excellent condition and installed in an appropriate manner with good workmanship.

Windjamer, over the last 30 years I cannot count the number of dead bodies that I have seen in car crashes, first as a volunteer fireman, next as a volunteer rescue squad member, and as a law enforcement officer. I would guess that the number would be about 600. Of those 600 or so there was one that MIGHT have lived if they had not been wearing the seatbelt that restrained him in the driver's seat area where he were killed by the driver's door that caved into that crush zone. Other than that one... I have never seen a dead body seatbelted in a car. Of the other 599 or so, most of them would have lived if they had been wearing a seat belt.

Edited by MCHinson (see edit history)

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Judging guidelines state:

15. Seat belts and child restraints will be

accepted if neatly installed.

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Learned to drive in 1966 and my moms 52 Studebaker had seat belts. My dad put them in. He was a weekend drag racer. Always used belts and I always walked away with only minor injuries. Maybe I'm just lucky, but then again.......

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It is a spring loaded punch used normally to mark metal. It will shatter even auto glass in a hurry.

As a side note, and I'm not absolutely sure about the accuracy of this, but...

I read the other day that the new Buick Lucerne will have laminated side windows. That's apparently supposed to help make the car quieter, which I don't understand.

But the idea of laminated side windows made escaping from a sinking car sound a lot harder.

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I work with a lot of EMTs and many of them have a favorite saying when the conversation turns to drivers not wearing seat belts - "never had to unbuckle a dead one."

Terry

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Whether seat belts save lives is not my issue. I think it is ridiculous that someone in Illinois can ride a motorcycle with shorts and flip flops, no shirt and no helmet, yet I can be ticketed for driving in an enclosed 5000 lb. vehicle without a seatbelt. When they set up an ambush ticketing every driver without a seatbelt, the police certainly are not interested in saving lives, they are interested in revenue. People can smoke themselves to death, drink themselves to death, and ride a motorcycle with zero protection. But I can get a ticket driving the 2 blocks to pick up my mail down an unused side street at 20 miles an hour because I forgot to put my seat belt back on.

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I think it is ridiculous that someone in Illinois can ride a motorcycle with shorts and flip flops, no shirt and no helmet, yet I can be ticketed for driving in an enclosed 5000 lb. vehicle without a seatbelt.

When the helmet law repeal was being debated in PA there was one overriding argument that won the day:

Harley guys are mostly old, and Harley guys vote.

It's like pretending that 80/20 health coverage using made-up numbers is a workable health plan. What isn't "ridiculous" in America?

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...But the idea of laminated side windows made escaping from a sinking car sound a lot harder.

It does to me also. Car companies are coming out with some strange stuff. Like the new Mercedes E Class that can stop on it's own with no assistance from the driver according to an ad I saw just tonight. Scary, very scary.

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Whether seat belts save lives is not my issue. I think it is ridiculous that someone in Illinois can ride a motorcycle with shorts and flip flops, no shirt and no helmet, yet I can be ticketed for driving in an enclosed 5000 lb. vehicle without a seatbelt. When they set up an ambush ticketing every driver without a seatbelt, the police certainly are not interested in saving lives, they are interested in revenue. People can smoke themselves to death, drink themselves to death, and ride a motorcycle with zero protection. But I can get a ticket driving the 2 blocks to pick up my mail down an unused side street at 20 miles an hour because I forgot to put my seat belt back on.

That is a whole nother kettle of fish. This thread is why wj should wear a seatbelt. And you will notice all the responses relate to keeping him safe not keeping his wallet fat or him out of jail.

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