The laws of seatbelt usage.

Essay by neifi5High School, 12th gradeA+, April 2003

download word file, 2 pages 5.0

To Buckle Or Not To Buckle:

A Matter of Life or Death

In 1959, Nils Bohlin, a safety engineer for the Swedish-based Volvo automobile company, introduced the three-point shoulder/lap safety belt. Today, seatbelts, as they eventually would be known as, are installed in all automobiles. . Seatbelts have proven to put the driver and the passengers at lower risks of mortality involved in accidents. It is for this reason that forty-nine of the fifty states of America have made laws mandating the use of them. "Buckle up, it's the law," say many highway signs to inform motorists. Although the laws may not be easily enforced, many lives of American citizens have been lengthened due to them.

"If there were such laws, my daughter would be living today," says Autumn O'bile, mother of a crash victim. The O'biles, a typical American family, make their home in New Hampshire, the only state that does not have seatbelt laws.

Sarah O'bile, who was honor student at Concord High School, was driving to school one day, and in swerving to avoid a duck in the road, was hit head on by a pickup truck. Sarah, who was not wearing a seatbelt (a common occurrence among New Hampshire residents), was killed in the accident. An officer at the scene stated that she would have survived had she been wearing her seatbelt. "This circumstance is getting to be all too common," states Officer Mizowski, the policeman at the scene.

Several studies have shown that Sarah's circumstance is very common. In fact, this same scenario happened to 31,811 Americans in 1998. Prior to this, Buckle up America, a country-wide campaign aimed at increasing the frequency of America's poor 69% seat-belt usage. The campaign, which aimed to increase frequency to 85% by 2002, saved 4,194 lives and...