Experts, the CDC, and the media keep telling us that seat belts dramatically reduce the risk of death and serious injury when using a car. But I’ve decided to do my own research before using a seat belt.
Let’s start with a question that nobody seems to have an answer for: What are the long-term effects of seat belts? We’re supposed to use them every time we’re in a car—don’t you think that’s going to have some consequences? Is that, perhaps, how the cars in Cars came to be? Humans just kept buckling themselves in until they became one with their car? I don’t know! But I also feel like I don’t not know.
And it’s not just the long-term effects I’m worried about—it’s the little things too. For instance, did you know that seat belts can get uncomfortable if they’re too tight? It’s true! Sometimes, you even have to let the seat belt go all the way back to its original position and then buckle it in again so that it fits correctly. Seems like they haven’t worked out all the kinks yet, and I’m supposed to trust it with my life? No thanks.
Here’s a question: How did they come up with seat belts so quickly? We’ve only had over a hundred years of car safety innovation and research that have built to this moment in time when we have seat belts. Don’t you think that’s a little bit rushed?
And did you know that seat belts aren’t even belts for seats? They’re belts for the people in the seats. They should be called people belts. And would you ever wear something called a “people belt”? Probably not, because it sounds super weird. And that’s why they called them “seat belts” to begin with—to get people to use them without thinking about how creepy “people belt” would sound.
Sure, we’ve been told time and again that seat belts prevent drivers and passengers from being ejected from their vehicle during a crash. But tell me this: What happens during a crash? The car gets damaged, or even totaled. So during a crash, wouldn’t you want to be anywhere other than the car? Doesn’t being in the car sound like the worst place to be? Ejection actually seems like the safest way to go.
And before you say anything: Yes, I trust the rest of the car enough to drive it. My skepticism of the car only extends to the safety mechanisms of the vehicle. The high-speed, exhaust-pumping, death-machine aspects of the car? Count me in!
And no, I certainly won’t be letting my children use a seat belt. If a seat belt could turn me into Lightning McQueen, think of what kind of screwed-up Pixar character it could turn my kid into. No seat belts, car seats, or airbags for them—not on my watch!
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to merge onto the freeway at thirty above the speed limit without checking my blind spots. Just like any other freedom-loving American would.