Letter: Why seat belts can be dangerous

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Six of seven individuals whom I know, who were also involved in accidents where their cars were destroyed, were saved by not having worn a seat belt – and that would include me.

About the time that promotion of the wearing of seat belts in Europe began to take hold in the U.S., three studies looked at the effect on those compelled to wear seat belts. It was discovered that highway deaths per mile increased in countries that adopted required seat belt use while highway deaths in countries that did not require seat belts stayed about the same.

The initial thought was that drivers who wore seat belts felt more secure and therefore drove more recklessly evolved but the observable truth is/was that seat belt use simply kills in different ways, holding passengers in place as their car is crushed and destroyed around them, drowning them as they struggle to get undone as they plunge deeper and deeper underwater, and of course, capturing them in place and burning them to death.

I was personally involved in a crash that smashed the driver’s side roof and pillion post on top of the driver’s seat. I would not have survived if, just before impact, I had been restrained by a seat belt and been unable to throw myself sideways upon the passenger seat. When things settled down, I was then able to slowly extract my legs from beneath the driver’s side dash and crawl out of the passenger side door.

Obviously, the choice of whether or not to wear a seat belt ought to remain with the individual. It should not be compelled by the state.

Paul Mirski

Enfield Center