This past Saturday afternoon my husband and I decided to take our daughter to our favorite burger joint and ice cream parlor that is about an hour away. We save it for a treat and only go about twice a year so we were very excited. We had to take the highway there and along the way we got stuck in traffic. As we pulled up to the accident, we saw an SUV on the other side of the median flipped over and in very bad condition. Then on the other side of the highway there were other vehicles stopped and directing traffic. There were no emergency vehicles on the scene yet so it must have just happened. As we passed I looked more carefully and to my shock and horror, on our side of the median, was a dead body, upside down against the median, covered with a blanket.
My first thought was maybe there is something that I could do to help. I am a CNA and a nursing student and I know basic lifesaving skills. Then I thought, you are 8 months pregnant on a very busy highway and CPR doesn't help if you are already dead. My third thought was sadness. Someone's whole life was wrapped up by people driving by, gaping at their dead body as they went about their day. I still can't get the image of her red and white socks out of my mind.
After doing a little research, I found out that this was an 18 year old girl. She was driving with someone else, they got a flat tire at 65 miles per hour, the SUV hit the median, and flipped over, ejecting the driver. The most likely reason she was ejected: SHE WASN'T WEARING HER SEATBELT!!!! The passenger, who was wearing his seatbelt, escaped with minor injuries. Now there is no telling if the driver would have lived had she worn her seatbelt, but I am pretty sure she wouldn't have been ejected from the car.
Car accidents happen every day. We don't really think about them because to be honest, we can't. If we thought that every time we got in the car we risked our lives, I don't think many people would go anywhere. My point is this. PLEASE, wear your seatbelt. PLEASE. Put it on before you put the car in drive and take it off after you put the car in park. And wear it properly. Put both the lap and shoulder belt on. I am guilty of this because the shoulder belt is so uncomfortable over my belly. But after this weekend my discomfort isn't worth my life. And make sure your children wear their seatbelts or are securely strapped in their car seats. I can't tell you how many times I have been driving and seen kids in the back seat running around, clearly without their belts on. This is something simple that we have heard thousands of times before but it is true, Seatbelts Save Lives.