Now it’s time to discuss the use of seat belts which could be one of the most important things you will learn and do while driving!
OK here is where I throw out a bunch of statics on the use or should I say the lack of seat belt use, it’s real important so please read this for me and don’t skip over:
- It’s the law stupid — enough said!
- Studies show that the use of seat belts reduces almost 50% the chance of a moderate to critical injury.
- Almost 30% of the people who are not wearing seat belts are ejected during accidents and of those 70% who are ejected do not survive.
- On a local note over 60% of teens who were killed in car accidents in Georgia were not wearing their seat belts.
- Using seat belts increases your chances of survival in major accidents by over 45%.
- Over 10K+ lives are saved each year due to seat belt use yet still less than 50% of all teenagers wear them! So with all the above being said why would you even think about not wearing your seat belt?
Excuses People Give to Not Wear a Seat Belt
Of course there are many reasons/excuses given for why people do not wear them such as:
- I have really cool air bags in my car so I don’t need to wear seat belts. Don’t be an idiot air bags are just an additional supplement to protect you from front end accidents and are not designed to replace seat belts.
- Seat belts bother me and make me feel uncomfortable. Not as uncomfortable as when you go crashing through your front windshield.
- Seat belts wrinkle my clothes and scratch my neck. Go to your local hardware/auto parts store and get a seat belt shoulder cushion for fewer than 5 bucks.
- The government has no right to tell me I must use one. These are the types of idiots I would prefer not to be out on the streets driving! Have you ever noticed the amount of times you have read in the paper when a major accident involving a death is reported that they often read like this: “Two of the victims were not wearing seat belts and were ejected from the vehicle and died at the scene” This happens over and over and over so please don’t let yourself become another headline in your local paper! With all the new laws that are in force around the country and all the billboards that yell out to you “Click It or Ticket” why do you even risk it? Also not wearing a seat belt gives the police every right to pull you over whether you are doing anything else wrong or not.
Consequences of Not Wearing a Seat Belt
So first you will get a ticket that will end up costing you money and secondly if you are doing anything else stupid like driving without your license, driving while having a suspended license or God forbid your drinking and driving/open container, it’s all downhill from there!
Should Your Passengers Wear Seat Belts?
Now how about we talk about others in your car wearing seat belts or should I say NOT wearing seat belts! Most states require passengers who sit in the front seat of cars to also wear their seat belts which makes all the sense in the world but what about passengers in the back seats.
You should require ALL passengers to wear their seat belts regardless of whether they are in the front or back seats. The reason is a fairly simple one in that if there is a major accident that you are involved in well the people in the back seat who are not wearing their seat belts become a flying object within the car causing potential injuries to others.
And then it goes without saying they are often times the people who you read about that were “Thrown from the Vehicle”! Lastly and just as importantly in regards to seat belt use let’s touch on how it applies to children within your vehicle. Here are the basic guidelines for children riding in cars:
- Until they are of one year of age they need to be placed in a rear facing child seat in the rear seat.
- Children up to the age of four or up to 40 lbs should be buckled into a front facing toddler seat.
- Children up to the age of eight need to be placed in a booster seat.
- Lastly kids over the age of eight should be secured in a standard seat belt.
But most importantly in regards to properly buckling in your child please review your local state laws as well as the instructions provided by the manufacturer of the car seat that you are using! Lastly there is a great website that gives all the current information you need to know for children riding in your car…
Mirror Mirror on the Wall/In the Car
The inside and outside mirrors are some of the most important tools/accessories found in your car designed to help you drive safely.
The mirror is one of the things you need to make sure is adjusted properly prior to heading out onto the road as you will be using them constantly. So let’s start first with the inside mirror that will soon become your best friend and is mainly used to keep you up to date with everything that is going on behind you!
There are several different opinions on how often you should check/glance at this mirror but from my own experience I take a “peek” at this mirror about every 10–15 seconds depending on the amount of traffic. You should have this mirror set/adjusted where all you have to do is shift your eyes (not your head!) to keep abreast on what the heck is going on behind you. Checking this mirror is needed for many reasons such as:
- Keeps you aware of people/traffic behind you in general.
- Allows you to be aware of people who are riding your bumper.
- Gives you a heads up prior to passing other cars.
- Keeps you aware of possible police/emergency vehicles approaching.
- Keeps you alert if you are holding up traffic from behind.
Now it’s on to the two outside mirrors located on the driver and passenger side doors and why they are there.
Which is the Most Important Mirror?
The most important of the two is the driver’s side mirror which will be used mainly in conjunction with the inside rear view mirror to pass cars with. This outside mirror is the one you use to look at prior to pulling out to pass another driver or changing lanes so that you know the coast is clear.
Before passing another car and thus pulling out into the lane next to you first look in the inside rear view mirror to get an idea of the traffic flow behind you, next you will look at the outside drivers side mirror to double check things and lastly without the help of any mirror you will look over your left shoulder to make sure everything is perfectly clear for you to pass.
Next is where you will use the passenger outside mirror the most which helps to assist you in moving back into your original lane after you have completed the pass. This is the same mirror that has the very strange/weird statement printed on it that advises you “Objects in mirror are closer then they appear” which I have always found funny/confusing but well it is what it is.