Needless Deaths Can Be Prevented
25 April 2009
The passing of a loved one is a tragic occurrence, but even more tragic is a death that could have been prevented. As a teenager in high school, there were several car accidents in our immediate and surrounding area involving teenagers. There were so many repeated incidents that in an effort to prevent these events, the school districts opted to close campus during the day, in hopes that less driving would mean fewer accidents for teenagers. This made a slight impact upon the alarming statistics, but it also had a negative, reverberating effect upon local businesses and the campus' abilities to accommodate a significantly larger student population during lunch sessions. While this measure has decreased the number of accidents in the school district zone, I cannot help but wonder if perhaps there is a better, more long-lasting solution to this issue; one that will satisfy the desire for independence in youth, as well as their need for driving experience and the concerns of the traffic safety personnel and local communities.
One of the major causes for injury and death in teenage car crashes is the passengers' lack of seatbelt use. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 63 % of people killed in accidents are not wearing seatbelts. This translates to 43,000 deaths that could have been prevented in one year, in addition to another 2.9 million people seriously injured in accidents that could have been less injured with the use of seatbelts.
In 2003, in an effort to curb the loss of life and injury, a man named Robert Allison began to develop a product that I believe is revolutionary in our daily travel. When he suffered his own personal loss, he realized there was a tremendous need to address the issue of seatbelts. He came up with a device called lifebelt that can easily be installed in most vehicles and works by helping teenagers to form the healthy habit of consistently using their seatbelts. The vehicle will not start until they are buckled up and if at any time while in transit a seatbelt in the vehicle, up to 7, becomes unbuckled, the radio turns off and an alarm sounds. This is a positive enforcer of good habits and provides great peace of mind to concerned parents and local community members who feel that teenage drivers are a threat to their safety on the road.
As I transition from teenage years to adulthood, I also see the great benefit and security that Lifebelt gives to parents with children in their vehicle. Oftentimes, I have experienced the wondrous magic act in which a child pops up next to me between the front seats when they were supposedly safe and secure in their own seats. With this device, I no longer have to be concerned about the monkeys in the back seats, but can instead pay attention to the road and rely upon lifebelt to help keep my kids safe in their seats. I highly recommend the peace of mind and security that this has to offer. Don't be a tragic statistic. Support safety and save lives.
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