What’s your excuse for not wearing your seatbelt? Whatever your reason, it’s not a good one and it won’t get you out of a ticket. according to SGI.
“Simply put, people who don’t wear their seatbelts are – sadly – much more likely to be killed in a vehicle crash,” said Penny McCune, chief operating officer of the Auto Fund. “Consider this: more than one-third of all vehicle occupants* who died in Saskatchewan auto collisions last year were not buckled up. That level of overrepresentation is concerning, since the vast majority of people do wear their seatbelts.”
Sgt. Dallyn Holmstrom, detachment commander of the Carlyle RCMP, recently compiled a list of excuses he’s heard from drivers who failed to buckle up. (These did not work; they still received a $175 ticket.)
“Ask any police officer and they’ll tell you – the list of excuses they’ve heard from people not wearing their seatbelts is long,” said Holmstrom. “But really there is no excuse for not wearing one. That applies to both drivers and passengers. It’s really one of the easiest things you can do to help keep yourself and your passengers safe in the event of a collision – simply ensure everyone is buckled up before you get going.”
Holmstrom’s list of seatbelt excuses is below, along with SGI responses.
1. “I’m a careful driver. I don’t need a seat belt.”
Even if that were true, being the world’s best driver doesn’t guarantee you’ll never be in a collision. You’re not the only one on the road. There are other vehicles (some driven by drivers who may be less careful than you). There’s wildlife. There’s icy patches and road hazards. Good drivers get in collisions, too.
2. “Wearing a seat belt makes me feel restrained.”
That’s the point. You’re restrained. When a vehicle comes to a sudden stop, being restrained means your soft body won’t keep moving until it hits something solid and unforgiving. Objects in motion tend to stay in motion.
3. “Seat belts are uncomfortable.”
Here’s what’s super uncomfortable: Slamming chest-first into a steering column, being partially ejected as your vehicle rolls on top of you, or even just being tossed around your vehicle like the last peanut in a can. If you don’t like wearing a seatbelt, you’re really not going to like being strapped onto a stretcher.
4. “I forget to buckle up sometimes.”
That’s weird, since your vehicle almost certainly has some sort of buzz or ding to remind you to put it on.
5. “I’m too big to wear a seat belt.”
If you fit into a vehicle, you can wear a seatbelt.
6. “I’m not travelling very far or very fast.”
A collision can happen close to home. And you don’t have to be travelling at highway speeds for a crash to severely injure you. Coming to a sudden stop at 50 km/h turns a 70 kiologram person into a 1,400 kilogram projectile. Even if you work out, you’re not strong enough to brace yourself for that impact.
7. “I want to be able to exit the car quickly.”
Not wearing a seatbelt in a collision means that you will exit the vehicle quickly. Unfortunately, it could be through the windshield, face first.
8. “I don’t want to get stuck inside the car during a crash.”
You don’t want to be ejected. Trust us on this one. You’re two to three times more likely to die if you’re ejected from your vehicle. The body of your vehicle is meant to absorb the energy of an impact and keep the passenger compartment intact, but you need to buckle up for that to keep you safe. Not wearing your seatbelt does increase the chance you’ll be knocked unconscious or physically incapacitated in a crash, and unable to free yourself.
9. “Seatbelts cause injuries during crashes.”
Think about it: If you’re in a severe enough collision that a properly worn seatbelt bruises you, the injuries that you would have suffered if you weren’t wearing it would have been worse. A lot worse.
10. “I’m driving a bigger vehicle that will protect me in case of a crash.”
If your jacked-up truck hits a tree, a ditch or even a cute little Fiat going the opposite direction, you’re still going to wish you wore a seatbelt.
* Refers to vehicle crash deaths in which seatbelts were available to the victims (e.g. excludes pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists and ATV riders).