Thursday, January 19, 2012

Teens and Seat Belts

Yesterday, in one of our neighboring communities, there was a car accident which killed two teenage girls and seriously injured a third. I don't know the people involved, but, as a mom of teens myself, hearing about this just broke my heart. Knowing that the lives of these young girls were tragically cut short is so sad. I cannot even imagine the pain their families and friends are in right now and my prayers go out to them. The news reported that the girls were traveling in a pickup truck when the driver somehow lost control, causing the vehicle to flip. It was also reported that none of the girls were wearing seat belts.

I don't know if wearing a seat belt would have changed the outcome of this accident. Maybe these girls normally wore seat belts, maybe they didn't. I don't know. It scares me to think that some teens choose not to buckle up. I've seen it in my own 18 year old son. There have been occasions that I have caught him not using his seat belt. He gives me lines and excuses like, "I wasn't going on the highway" or "I was only driving up the street." This makes me furious! I have made it clear that this is absolutely something I expect him to do every single time he gets in an automobile. If he has the privilege to drive, buckling up is a non-negotiable rule that his dad and I demand of him. But, he's almost 19 years old. I can't follow him everywhere he goes, hold his hand and remind him to fasten his seat belt. I can only hope that all of our discussions on this subject have seeped into his brain and will make him do the responsible thing on his own. I can continue these discussions, making sure he is aware of consequences of not wearing seat belts, such as the terrible accident that happened to those girls yesterday. I can set a good example by wearing a seat belt each time I'm in a car. I can pray that my child makes good decisions and safe choices. From there, it's up to him.

Do you always wear a seat belt? If you have teens, has this been an issue? What kind of things do you do to ensure that your teen remembers to buckle up?



Pina said...

I always wear a seat belt and I think that you are right that you insist that your children wear it too. I never start my car until all passengers in it are buckled up.

Anonymous said...

Yes, we always wear them and do it as an example for the teens and little ones.

Menopausal New Mom said...

I always wear a seatbelt (it's the law here) and I cringe at the thought of my now 5-year-old daughter going in cars when she gets older.

And the affects of hearing about teenagers being hurt and killed in car accidents can last a lifetime. When I was 18, two of my friends were in serious car accidents. Each girl was 16 at the time. One was killed and in a separate accident that same year, the other was paralized from the waist down. Each was NOT wearing a seatbelt. I'm 50 now and I have never forgotten those two girls and how one life was cut short, the other changed forever. I bet on average I think of each of them once a month and wonder what could have been for each of them. Just so tragic and needless.

Smellyann said...

So sad. :( :( :(

Yes, I always wear a seatbelt, and my kids are 10 and down and still in carseats, where they will remain until they no longer fit (they're teeny).