General Question

JONESGH's avatar

Why do some people not wear seat belts?

Asked by JONESGH (3554points) June 2nd, 2009 from iPhone

I can’t think of a single good reason to not wear it.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

38 Answers

dynamicduo's avatar

Some people don’t like to be told by the government what to do. Especially when the only one in danger is the person themselves and no one else.

cookieman's avatar

My wife finds them uncomfortable and restrictive (she could care less about the law).

My daughter is always chastising her.

MrGV's avatar

* Wouldn’t you rather be thrown through the windshield of your car to safety than trapped in a rolling vehicle? And after you are thrown through the windshield, how can you jump out of the way of your rolling car if you’re all tangled in a seatbelt?
* As much as one tenth of one percent of auto accidents involve sudden fire or plunging into water. If everyone in the United States takes part in an annual auto accident, that’s 23,000 people who run the risk of being trapped and fatally killed by a seatbelt each year!
* Psychiatrists say that exposing young children to practices such as bondage from an early age can cause confusion during puberty.
* A section on seatbelts in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Web site’s FAQ says (when edited for clarity): “Wear… a seatbelt… and… you will… died.”
* Even the statistics of the pro-seatbelt Automotive Coalition for Restraint of Freedom proves the case of their opposition. The Coalition says that seatbelts cut the risk of serious or fatal injury by 40% to 55%, but even if this number is believed, it means that seatbelts are potentially deadly in the remaining 60% to 45% of cases!
* Seatbelting is related to the hideous ancient Chinese practice of foot binding.

Facade's avatar

Because some people are idiots.

Dog's avatar

When I briefly worked as a paramedic the term “Organ Donor” referred to either a motorcycle rider who did not wear a helmet or a car passenger without a seatbelt.

@MrGeneVan Without a seat belt your are extremely likely to be knocked unconscious upon impact with the water and thus drowning without a chance to unsnap your belt.

asmonet's avatar

Because some people have a daily death wish.

asmonet's avatar

@MrGeneVan: I sincerely hope that was a piss poor attempt at humor.

Kayak8's avatar

Because some people have breasts! Seatbelts are difficult with breasts as they (breasts) push the belt up into one’s neck. The problem is solved by adding a little sheepskin thing to the seatbelt to keep it in it’s proper safety position rather than into the side of one’s bloomin neck.

asmonet's avatar

@Kayak8: I got full C’s and never had a problem. One boob ‘over’ one boob ‘under’. It goes where it goes on everyone. No big.

Kayak8's avatar

@asmonet I drive a truck and cannot adjust where the seatbelt is attached on the doorframe and I am telling you, these D+ breasts caused a problem until I discovered the sheepskin thingy!

asmonet's avatar

Well, once you reach a certain point, boobs are a nuisance anywhere. ;)

rooeytoo's avatar

People of my generation and older drove for a lot of years without seat belts. My first couple of cars were not equipped with seatbelts, so it is sort of like teaching an old dog new tricks. I do it, but I really do think the world today is overlegislated and paternalistic. I feel the same way about bicycle helmets, I’ve been rough riding for 60 years without one,make kids wear them if you want, but don’t tell me I have to wear one.

Do school buses have seat belts yet?

rooeytoo's avatar

@Kayak8 – I have often said, they should make seatbelts in cup sizes!

hearkat's avatar

I am very glad that my son and his friend wore their seatbelts when they were in an accident last month. Having the seatbelts kept them in the car, and positioned them properly so they hit the airbags and not any other surfaces in the car. They are High School Seniors, and that age is probably at the highest risk for not wearing them.

basp's avatar

I put those people who won’t wear seat belts in the same category as those who won’t wear motorcycle helmets…...organ donors.

asmonet's avatar

@rooeytoo: School buses do not have seat belts for a variety of reasons.

They rely on the seats being close together and being constructed with material designed to soften impacts, things like this happen very rarely, and even then, most children are not terribly injured.

Facade's avatar

@kayak8 i have ahem ddd’s and i have no problems with seat belts. a little discomfort is worth it IMO

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

Urg, in lurving @Dog, I forgot to add my two cents in towards the post, sorry.
Some people don’t wear their seatbelts because it gets easy after a few times without to not think of danger anymore. Personally, seatbelts have saved my life in car accidents more than a few times and I have asked people I love to please wear theirs, if only to increase their chances of having more Hx3 love.

Dog's avatar

@hungryhungryhortence I have been in two rollover accidents- one involving a fatality. Both times had I not worn a seatbelt I would not be typing now. Lurve back at ya.

Jack79's avatar

I never wear a seatbelt because I just can’t be bothered to make that move of putting it on. I just get into the car and start driving. I know it’s stupid, but that’s the reason. Even after I had an accident last Christmas and the seatbelts saved all our lives.

That particular time we were wearing seatbelts because it was a long journey, and usually once I get out of the city I put it on, but if I’m just driving around running errands and jumping in and out of the car all the time (which is how I usually use it) I don’t bother. I also never lock it or close the windows if I’m just going to be a minute. I’m just sloppy that way.

casheroo's avatar


Although, I wore mine when I had rear-ended a mercedes, and my seat belt snapped instantly. Apparently Ford installs the incorrect seatbelts sometimes (some need to be bolted in, some use a long metal pole) and the seat belt installed in my car needed to be bolted but was on a pole…so it will never protect during a car accident. Ford never said anything about it to us though.

basp's avatar

casheroo, I was lucky, lsat month I totaled my car and walked away without a scratch or bruise. I was wearing a seat belt. I have air bags, but, they didn’t deploy. I’m not sure why.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

At anyone who has dependent children: if not for the love of your SO or other family or friends, how about strapping in to increase the chances of being around for your kids?

rooeytoo's avatar

@asmonet – I guess that is an adequate explanation unless your kid happens to be one of the 11 fatalities, then your opinion of the “relative and statistical” safety and expense saving might be questionable.

The youtube clip wasn’t very illuminating.

asmonet's avatar

Meh, if it was or was not illuminating doesn’t really matter. It’s a link, an option. An extra. Not a point on it’s own.

And no, I don’t think I would change my mind if I was one of the parents who lost a child in a school bus incident. I understand why they aren’t used, having been in a minor school bus accident myself and riding them for over ten years I am in favor of never adding them. Injuries would most likely rise from them.

When I was in the bus accident, the front two seats had seat belts, only one child was using them. The driver slammed the brakes and came to a full stop just in time to barely nick a fender on a car that was stalled. Everyone in the bus flew forward and hit the seat in front of them. The blow was similar to rolling out of your bed and waking up on the floor surprised. But, the kid with the seatbelt? He slammed his face into the seat in front of him, knocked out a tooth in the process of puncturing the material on the seat and snapped his neck around.

He was in a brace for a while after that, and had a limp for the rest of the week.

So no, I don’t think I’d change my mind. We all got up, brushed off and sat back down. He bled from the mouth and screamed for help.

Jack79's avatar

There is in fact evidence also against seatbelts and helmets, but I don’t think that’s the real reason why people don’t use them. There’s also evidence that smoking is good for you, and it probably is true in certain cases. But I think that, even though there is still a lot of room for improvement as far as seatbelts are concerned, they probably save more lives than they take.

The issue of personal freedom is a completely different one. Yes, I do not think the goverment should force me to wear a seatbelt, as long as I’m not bothering anyone else. As a matter of fact, helmets have been proven to cause accidents, as the rider cannot see and hear as well in a helmet, something I also remember from my own motorbike-riding days. Yes, they protect the head in most cases of head injury, but then again, most accidents would have simply been avoided if the rider wasn’t wearing a helmet in the first place. And perhaps there’s a similar story about seatbelts. And I certainly don’t feel it was fair that I had to pay a 350 euro fine for not wearing a seatbelt 2 blocks from my house while looking for a parking place going at 10mph. Especially when the street was full of drunk drivers (it was a Saturday night).

But I still admit that my own reason is mere laziness.

rooeytoo's avatar

@asmonet – “meh = Indifference; to be used when one simply does not care.”

That’s the way I feel about them in the car.

@Jack79 – That is so true about motorcycle helmets especially full face ones. If they fit properly they virtually eliminate peripheral vision and sure diminish hearing.

asmonet's avatar

I know what ‘meh’ means, though I appreciate the effort you put in to defining it.

I think it’s incredibly selfish and irresponsible to not wear them in the car.

When you become a 150+ lb. projectile, we’ll see if your opinions change.

asmonet's avatar

@rooeytoo: You might be interested in this discussion.

rooeytoo's avatar

@asmonet -I will never become a 150 pound projectile!

It is interesting in the link above you are so indignant that even a small number of people could become a 100 pound projectile ( I do qualify for that weight), but in the school bus question, you stated only 11 kids die and that number was not sufficiently significant to warrant change, how many would you like to die before it becomes important?

But now it is my turn, meh, I am finished, you wear your seatbelt if you wish, I’ll do as I please as well.

Jack79's avatar

I’ll never become a 150 pound projectile either….I’m 200 pounds :P

asmonet's avatar

My point is benefit outweighing cost.

More people die not wearing their seatbelt than wearing it in smaller, differently designed vehicles.
More children would be injured wearing seat belts in school buses than not.

They are separate circumstances.
Which require separate sets of data and in my case, made me form specific opinions about each set of conditions. If you think they contradict each other, you’re not thinking straight.

derekpaperscissors's avatar

Cops are complacent when it comes to seatbelts in our area.
Sometimes you also forget or is a bit restrictive with certain kind of clothes on.

smack's avatar

It’s called an “external locus of control.” Some people simply believe that they have less control over what they do in their lives, and leave it up to fate. So, whether or not they wear this seatbelt, they will get into a crash and die if it is meant to be. It’s actually a measure of personality – all people are some number on a range from an internal-locus (meaning very in-control, totally non-deterministic) to an external-locus.

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