by Isaiah 9th, (non-fiction)
Dear Papa, I know it bugs you when either Nani or I tell you this, but you need to start listening to us for a change. You need to put your seatbelt on in the car before you even start or drive the car. Saying that “I never put on my seatbelt working as a cop when we got in the police cruiser. It’s just a natural habit of mine” is no excuse. You haven’t been working in any type of law enforcement in the past 40 years. It’s not safe because you can seriously hurt yourself if you get into an accident, which happens occasionally with you. If you get into something serious, which has not happened yet, it can affect me, but more importantly, it can affect your wife. What made me want to write this was that every time I hear on the news or on the web that someone dies in an accident by not wearing a seatbelt, I always get a picture in my head of that happening to you. The law specifically says that you have to wear a seatbelt while driving 24/7, 365, “You and all passengers must wear a seat belt or you and/or your passenger(s) may be cited. If the passenger is under 16 years old, you may be cited if they are not wearing their seat belt” (4- pp.2).
Out of all of the drivers in California, you are outnumbered 1 to 6 because, “The overall seat belt use rate was 87% in 2014” (3- pp.2). Therefore, you are in the minority of people not wearing a seat belt, because only 13% of people do not wear their belts. This is because, it is not only against the law of the land, but it is also against the law of our religion to take our lives for granted and not value them. On the other hand, “2,500 more lives would have been saved if everyone had buckled up in 2016” (2- pp.3). The positive way of surviving is to wear your seat belt. And in fact, the positive of wearing a seat belt outweighs the negative of not wearing a seat belt because of the amount of lives that are saved everyday by people wearing their seat belts. Not wearing your seat belt is very dangerous as, “More than 2.6 million drivers and passengers were treated in emergency department as the result of being injured in motor vehicle crashes in 2016” (1- pp.5). If you want any chance of surviving every time you step foot in any motorsport vehicle, you should put on your seatbelt. In addition to being taken to the E.R., “A total of 23,714 people died in motor vehicle crashes in 2016” (1- pp.4). Since you are a former Insurance Agent and probably have spent a lot of money covering insurance, I know this statistic will mean something to you, “Non-fatal crash injuries to drivers and passengers resulted in more than $48 billion in lifetime medical and work loss costs in 2010” (1- pp.7).
This means something to you because you have had your history of making payments of car accidents throughout your insurance agency days. More than half of these accidents occurred when people weren’t wearing a seatbelt. I know that putting on your seatbelt might seem stupid & worthless to you, but Papa, this isn’t the 1960s anymore where you didn’t have to put one on, it’s 2018. I heard you say many times that just because other people are doing something, it doesn’t mean I have to, as well. So the same logic also counts for you, as well. Just because men don’t wear their seat belts as much as women, you should know better as a retired police officer. How many times have you witnessed a car crash and someone had died because they were not wearing a seat belt?
In short, Papa there are too many lives lost to car accidents for you to ignore wearing your seat belt. What would you do if I decided not to wear my seat belt when you take me out to practice driving? Would you get mad at me, or would you let it go? Papa, set a good example and wear your seat belt!! Remember, Nani and I care about you very much and we can’t even think about you getting into a serious car accident or possibly dying just because you are not wearing your seat belt.
1. “Motor Vehicle Safety”. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 02 June 2017, https://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/seatbelts/facts.html . 11 Oct. 2018.
2. “Seat belts save lives” . National Highway Traffic Safety Association, 05 Mar. 2018, https://www.nhtsa.gov/seat-belts/seat-belts-save-lives . 11 Oct. 2018.
3. “Seat belts” . American Automobile Association, 11 Oct. 2018, https://exchange.aaa.com/safety/driving-advice/safety-belts/#.W79-1KQvzIW . 11 Oct. 2018.
4. “California Driver Handbook - Occupant Protection” . State of California Department of Motor Vehicles, 27 Oct. 2018, https://www.dmv.ca.gov/portal/dmv/detail/pubs/hdbk/seatbelts . 27 Oct. 2018.