Seat Belt Laws


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Dark Archive

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Disenchanter wrote:


And that is because that is the very premise of my stance.

"If it can't be proven that my choice affects others, how can any one dictate my choice?"

Simple better to be safe than sorry. After all it also cant be proven that your choice does not affect others.


Forgive me for chopping up your post, but you put a great deal of different topics in there.

Fake Healer wrote:
What about the mental damage done to someone who has an accident and the other person involved dies from not wearing a seat belt? Even if the accident isn't their fault there can be bad psychological damage from knowing that you were involved in an incident that took another person's life.

I agree with this general sentiment, but the same could be said about deaths that occured while wearing seat belts. The mental damage would occur either way, and it is possible the damage could be reduced when it is pointed out that the victim chose to not wear a seat belt. The presence or absence of a law doesn't really come into play.

Fake Healer wrote:
In Delaware there is no helmet law for riding motorcycles (except that there has to be one on the bike). People love to 'ride free' here. It's been shown that a good amount of motorcycle deaths could be prevented by wearing a helmet. Now if I have a minor accident with an un-helmeted biker and he dies where he would have lived if he had a helmet, then who did the biker hurt? Me. Even if there isn't a single scratch on me or my vehicle I will have to live with the images of death because someone decided to "make a choice" that was a bad choice.

Has it been shown? My (former) co-worker claims that all of the helmet tests were done at 5 mph. And that a helmet does nothing but give response personnel something to collect your brains with at higher speeds.

Problem is, I can't find any data that supports either stance.

Fake Healer wrote:
I don't have any access to figures and facts and I'm sure that any I could provided would be skewed to show someone's or some group's personal agenda, but I almost died in a car accident and the only thing that saved me was a seatbelt. I would have eaten an oak tree at 55mph. As it was I bruised a few ribs, broke a bone in my hand, got 98 or so stitches in my forehead, almost lost an eye, and halfway tore my PCL in my left knee. I wish I had airbags in that car also so I could've avoided the facial scarring.

I'm sorry that you had to go through that. And I am glad that it worked out the way you prefered, minus the airbags. But this is about choice. If another in the exact same accident as you would rather risk the likelihood of death than go through what you did, how can anyone tell them they can't?

I'm all for educating drivers. Gods know we need it anyway for all aspects of driving. But after individuals are educated, who has any right to step in and tell them they can't make a choice that affects only them?

Fake Healer wrote:
I really doubt that there are as many people who died because of wearing a seat belt as there are who were saved by them. I also doubt that the number is anywhere near to close.

But that is what Paul Watson called me on earlier. Making extrapolations without any data to back it up. Unfortunately, your "guesses" can't be weighed.


Kevin Mack wrote:
Disenchanter wrote:


And that is because that is the very premise of my stance.

"If it can't be proven that my choice affects others, how can any one dictate my choice?"

Simple better to be safe than sorry. After all it also cant be proven that your choice does not affect others.

Oh but that is such a dangerous stance to take.

Better safe than sorry?

If the data collected showed that the majority of domestic violence occured in married couples, we should outlaw marriage - because it is better to be safe than sorry?

Applied without restraint, that stance can be horrible.

And as far as it can't be proven that my choice doesn't affect others, that fits in very well with our general legislative belief of "innocent until proven guilty."
If it can't be proven that my choice affects others, how can I be prosecuted for that choice?

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

well if your so against it feel free to vote for someone who will abolish the law. In the meantime I decided to provide the Wikepedia link for everyone's viewing pleasure.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seat_belt

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seat_belt_legislation


Forgive me for not reading everything up to this point, but I think Disenchanter may be proceeding from a false assumption. I don't necessarily believe seat belt laws should exist. My posting in the other thread concerned the validity of an argument, which exists independently of the truth value of the conclusion.

My biggest beef with not wearing a seat belt is that you may be a burden to others if you are seriously injured, quite possibly beyond any insurance, etc. that you possess. Is that enough to mandate seat belt use? I'm not sure. But I don't believe society has any place protecting people from themselves. Your individual liberty does indeed extend to you taking stupid risks with your own life; it's your life, after all. It just becomes a grey area for me when your actions may affect the lives of others. My gut on the seat belt thing is it shouldn't be legally required, but I could be swayed by evidence that the cost to society at large is too high...

Err on the side of liberty; the burden of proof lies with those who advocate restricting liberty. So I suspect we probably agree Dis? Or am I reading you wrong?


bugleyman wrote:

Forgive me for not reading everything up to this point, but I think Disenchanter may be proceeding from a false assumption. I don't necessarily believe seat belt laws should exist. My posting in the other thread concerned the validity of an argument, which exists independently of the truth value of the conclusion.

My biggest beef with not wearing a seat belt is that you may be a burden to others if you are seriously injured, quite possibly beyond any insurance, etc. that you possess. Is that enough to mandate seat belt use? I'm not sure. But I don't believe society has any place protecting people from themselves. Your individual liberty does indeed extend to you taking stupid risks with your own life; it's your life, after all. It just becomes a grey area for me when your actions may affect the lives of others. My gut on the seat belt thing is it shouldn't be legally required, but I could be swayed by evidence that the cost to society at large is too high...

Err on the side of liberty; the burden of proof lies with those who advocate restricting liberty. So I suspect we probably agree Dis? Or am I reading you wrong?

Thank you for chiming in, and it does seem we agree. Just for clarity, I did mention in the first post that I was assuming you stood opposite of me on the issue.


Kevin Mack wrote:

well if your so against it feel free to vote for someone who will abolish the law. In the meantime I decided to provide the Wikepedia link for everyone's viewing pleasure.

Seat Belt

Seat Belt Legislation

Thank you for providing those links.

In fact, all of the data we threw around in this thread is what is used to write those pages. This puts them in an easier to read format.

However, any one reading them should be able to notice that no real data is shared. Just others' conclusions to that data.

Of particular note is the expanded results of John Adams that I linked above indicating that required seat belt use actually resulted in the same, or worse results from accident statistics.

Dark Archive

bugleyman wrote:
But I don't believe society has any place protecting people from themselves.

And there's my stance. The government is perfectly happy to let us smoke ourselves to death (and endanger everyone around us in the process), drink ourselves to death (and endanger everyone around us in the process) and decorate ourselves with handguns (even if a handgun owner is something like 70x more likely to shoot a loved one or himself with it, than use it in self-defense), so why the heck are they stepping in and telling us to buckle up?

The government *should* be protecting people from each other, which they manifestly are not, instead of regulating their actions regarding their own personal safety.

If there was some sort of statistic about non-seatbelted people being 400x more likely to catapult out of their car and kill innocent bystanders, then yeah, it becomes a safety *of others* issue, but it's not. Being a fool with no regard for your own life shouldn't be illegal, since it's quite legal in various areas of the country to shoot someone in the back without warning if they happen to be on your property, demonstrating a callous disregard for the safety of other taxpaying citizens.

I don't see it as the governments business telling people what they can or cannot do *to themselves.*


Disenchanter wrote:
Just for clarity, I did mention in the first post that I was assuming you stood opposite of me on the issue.

You did indeed. :)


The following post is meant as a commentarial, and not meant as the Truth or Facts toward any side. The contents just put an itching part of my brain to rest, and I thought I would share it.

I have always had a problem with the concept of seat belt laws. Not just because I feel it is an inappropriate law to put on people, but because it felt "false," or forced. And I don't mean forced on people.

How many laws are really passed for only the peoples own good?
Those that are, are usually in response to some tragedy.

How many of those ever get advertising time?

Someone was paying for those ads. And really, who would do that without some form of coercion.

Those anti-smoking Truth.com ads? They are from the tobacco industry, due to a court order.

So why was seat belt law getting air time? There had to be something behind it - in my point of view. But I never could figure the angle.

Then earlier today, I found this editorial by the president of the National Motorists Association. Remember, I am not presenting this as fact.

But according to this editorial, mandatory seat belt laws were passed due in part by a $100 million dollar lobbying campaign by the auto industry to derail air bag regulations that were pending.

I forgot where I read it, but my surfing also turned up a claim that states only passed mandatory seat belt laws due to extortion like tactics of the government withholding transportation funds. This one is even more dubious than the editorial that I linked, and not just because I can't remember where I read it.

But it "fits." It is the angle I couldn't find before. In an (alleged) self interested move, the auto industry pushed for mandatory seat belt laws.

Even if it isn't correct, it at least settles one (perhaps overly paranoid) part of my mind. And that can only help. :-P

For further "interesting" reading (depending on your point of view) there is this page about speed limits, and "common misconceptions." (I believe them, but I am not trying to pass it off as fact.)

Scarab Sages

Just to chime in....

I really have no judgement on the efficacy or "rightness" of the so-called "Click it or Ticket" laws. However, I will say that the most effective and convincing argument for wearing a seatbelt is through something similar to my own experience - i.e. a hole about the size of my forehead in my windshield. It was not pleasant.

That was about 21 years ago, and I've worn a seatbelt ever since.


Aberzombie wrote:

Just to chime in....

I really have no judgement on the efficacy or "rightness" of the so-called "Click it or Ticket" laws. However, I will say that the most effective and convincing argument for wearing a seatbelt is through something similar to my own experience - i.e. a hole about the size of my forehead in my windshield. It was not pleasant.

That was about 21 years ago, and I've worn a seatbelt ever since.

That explains a lot. ;-)

(just kidding; we love you).


Disenchanter wrote:

.

I forgot where I read it, but my surfing also turned up a claim that states only passed mandatory seat belt laws due to extortion like tactics of the government withholding transportation funds. This one is even more dubious than the editorial that I linked, and not just because I can't remember where I read it.

I personally wouldn't bet against something like this; heaven knows there is precedent.


Check out hospital emergency rooms that treat people on the State's dime and you'll see why they (the State) adopt seat belt laws.

As a first responder for more than 10 years I can tell you that seeing the carnage that's left behind in auto accidents doesn't make you wear a seat belt. It's watching people walk away from vehicles that were torn apart on impact that make you realize that seat belts save lives.

Scarab Sages

bugleyman wrote:
Aberzombie wrote:

Just to chime in....

I really have no judgement on the efficacy or "rightness" of the so-called "Click it or Ticket" laws. However, I will say that the most effective and convincing argument for wearing a seatbelt is through something similar to my own experience - i.e. a hole about the size of my forehead in my windshield. It was not pleasant.

That was about 21 years ago, and I've worn a seatbelt ever since.

That explains a lot. ;-)

(just kidding; we love you).

As soon as I typed it, I knew this would be the response. But, hell, I think the same thing sometimes....

The Exchange

Since people seem to want some statistics, this is what I found on the ROSPA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) website. As might be expected, it is pro-seatbelts.


bugleyman wrote:
Disenchanter wrote:

.

I forgot where I read it, but my surfing also turned up a claim that states only passed mandatory seat belt laws due to extortion like tactics of the government withholding transportation funds. This one is even more dubious than the editorial that I linked, and not just because I can't remember where I read it.

I personally wouldn't bet against something like this; heaven knows there is precedent.

I agree fully.

However it seems almost vogue to try and pin a conspiracy type theory on the government, so just claiming it holds little weight for me.

EDIT::

Aubrey the Malformed wrote:
Since people seem to want some statistics, this is what I found on the ROSPA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents) website. As might be expected, it is pro-seatbelts.

I've been thinking about the rear seat belt case (the stats on the page you linked reminded me). If unbuckled rear passengers are so dangerous for for front seat drivers/passenhers why is it legal to transport cargo in the back seat without tie downs of some kind? It is one of those moves that make me question the motivation behind the law.

Liberty's Edge

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Disenchanter wrote:
bugleyman wrote:
Disenchanter wrote:

.

I forgot where I read it, but my surfing also turned up a claim that states only passed mandatory seat belt laws due to extortion like tactics of the government withholding transportation funds. This one is even more dubious than the editorial that I linked, and not just because I can't remember where I read it.

I personally wouldn't bet against something like this; heaven knows there is precedent.

I agree fully.

However it seems almost vogue to try and pin a conspiracy type theory on the government, so just claiming it holds little weight for me.

Also don't forget that a lot of other countries have done the same thing. A conspiracy theory would have to explain more than just America. For example, the car industry in the UK wasn't powerful enough to set up a light bulb and Margaret Thatcher was hardly one for coddling industries when the law was introduced.


A friend of the family was in the Fatal Accident Investigation section of the New South Wales Police Force.

(my god was she hot she was in her late 20s 6'2" Blond and fit as.... 10 years later she is still hot but married and out of the force).

Back on message, the way she described how your face can be ripped off as you pass through the windscreen and the number times she found people like that convinced me of sensibility of wearing a seatbelt.

Seat belt laws are strictly enforced in Australia. It has reduced the numbers of people that have died in accidents.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Disenchanter wrote:


My point is, it is me weighing the possibility of saving my life against the inconvenience of me having to wear a seat belt.
That should be my choice alone.

If it only affect you and you alone, that might be one thing. But it does not. It affects fellow passengers in the car. It may affect the insurance/pocketbook of anyone who has to pay out if you suffer a worse injury or death.

When it comes to arguments about people's personal choices and their own lives, there's often a pretty wide network of other people and things that are affected that they don't acknowledge. They may simply be overlooking them through ignorance or sloppiness, but often enough they're simply refusing to see the potential consequences of their actions because it doesn't support and may even weaken their argument. As a result, I generally take a dim view of the argument of "personal choice" in a wide variety of public activities like driving and riding motorcycles/bicycles on public roads and smoking in public places. Driving on your own back-40 without a seatbelt, smoking at home - knock yourself out. Do it in public where it might affect me, even with a low probability of harm, and I expect you to adhere to standards of behavior that will reduce my risk, even by reducing your own.

Dark Archive

Well, since NASCAR mandated the use of head a neck restraints in 2001, there have been no fatalities among drivers that were race related. This is in spite of accidents such as this and this. Neither of these crashes would have been survivable with just seat belts, and would be undeniable disasters without seat belts. The point is, that sometimes someone who is smarter than ourselves has to step in and say enough is enough. We have a responsibility to make things safer for everyone, even if everyone doesn't like it. Seat belts won't stop every death on the road, but it will stop more than not wearing them will.

Dark Archive

The 8th Dwarf wrote:

A friend of the family was in the Fatal Accident Investigation section of the New South Wales Police Force.

(my god was she hot she was in her late 20s 6'2" Blond and fit as.... 10 years later she is still hot but married and out of the force).

Back on message, the way she described how your face can be ripped off as you pass through the windscreen and the number times she found people like that convinced me of sensibility of wearing a seatbelt.

Seat belt laws are strictly enforced in Australia. It has reduced the numbers of people that have died in accidents.

Yeah, saw something similar when I was an Air Force cop. Lady had one of those automatic shoulder belts, but she didn't wear her lap belt. She lost control of her car and slammed it into a concrete pillar about six inches in diameter. We found her head between her feet, but the rest of the body was still in the driver seat. I still wake up with nightmares of that.


David Fryer wrote:
Well, since NASCAR mandated the use of head a neck restraints in 2001, there have been no fatalities among drivers that were race related.

Now see, if racing style harnesses were required to be installed and used I'd buy that the law is for the citizens' own good. But they aren't for some reason.

EDIT::

David Fryer wrote:
The point is, that sometimes someone who is smarter than ourselves has to step in and say enough is enough.

I agree that can be necessary. But if you are going to do it, don't half ass it. There are over 40000 fatalities a year in car accidents. Why not reduce accidents? Improve the training and education of the driver? Improve testing methods? Reduce the number of accidents overall.

If reducing the fatality rate is the real motivating force behind the law, try really reducing the fatality rate.

/EDIT::

Bill Dunn wrote:
They may simply be overlooking them through ignorance or sloppiness, but often enough they're simply refusing to see the potential consequences of their actions because it doesn't support and may even weaken their argument.

That is very true, but not quite as you meant it. I started out using statistics from other websites to present the reasoning behind my stance.

I got called on not using the real data. (A move I agree with.)

Then those on the opposite end of my stance think that statistics and estimations from other websites are good enough to prove my stance flat out wrong, even though those sites don't show the real data.

It seems to be human nature to spread accepted statistics and estimation as fact, then not allow opponens the same courtesy - if you want to call it that.


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Disenchanter wrote:


Now see, if racing style harnesses were required to be installed and used I'd buy that the law is for the citizens' own good. But they aren't for some reason.

<snip>
I agree that can be necessary. But if you are going to do it, don't half ass it. There are over 40000 fatalities a year in car accidents. Why not reduce accidents? Improve the training and education of the driver? Improve testing methods? Reduce the number of accidents overall.

If reducing the fatality rate is the real motivating force behind the law, try really reducing the fatality rate.

It's all a balancing act. They don't want to put an unbearable burden on the auto manufacturers, so they go with a compromise seat belt (and other safety features) rather than top of the line safety gear.

Same thing with the amount of training, mandatory age requirement, and so on. In public policy, we need to balance safety with costs of the alternatives, choice with costs of the alternatives, age with costs of the alternatives.
If we really wanted to reduce costs a lot (and fatalities), we'd not let anyone drive until they were 25. But then we'd be paying for plenty of other opportunity costs associated with a young workforce with more limited mobility.


And I don't argue with that Bill Dunn.

My problem enters the picture when the government enacts that right for everyone, while taking the privilege away from the individual.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Disenchanter wrote:


I forgot where I read it, but my surfing also turned up a claim that states only passed mandatory seat belt laws due to extortion like tactics of the government withholding transportation funds. This one is even more dubious than the editorial that I linked, and not just because I can't remember where I read it.

The same thing was done to force the states to raise the minimum drinking age to 21. I don't have a cite, but will surf for one later.


Keep in mind, the statistics you are using are only looking at the number of people involved in fatal accidents. They are not looking at the chances of getting involved in a fatal car accident.

Think of it like this. At a high school, there was a breakout of measles. Out of the students infected, 58% were vaccinated against the disease. Looking at these numbers, you might conclude that vaccinations against measles are ineffective, right?

Now, what if I told you that out of 1,000 students, all but 5 are vaccinated against the disease. Of these 5 students, all 5 (or 100%) contract measles. Meanwhile, out of the 995 vaccinated students at the school, only 7 (or less than 1%) contract the disease.

Do you see now why your logic is flawed? You can't look at the numbers of people who are involved in fatal crashes to get an accurate assesment of seat belt safety. If you do, you're likely to get a skewed result. Instead, you need to look at the number of deaths prevented by wearing a seat belt.

So let's take a look at the facts: According to James Madison University,* your chances of getting injured in a car crash are reduced by 50% while wearing your seat belt, while the chances of being involved in a fatal crash are reduced by 60-70%. Meanwhile, for every 1% percent increase in safety belt use, 172 lives and close to $100 million in annual injury and death costs could be saved.

At a time when health care costs are spiraling out of control, people who don't wear their seat belts are not only putting their own lives in jeopardy, but also costing me serious money. So buckle up, man! I'm tired of paying for your mistakes. :)

*These statistics are backed up by other resources that I looked at, but none of them are presented in a nice, concise format like this one.


DoveArrow wrote:
At a time when health care costs are spiraling out of control, people who don't wear their seat belts are not only putting their own lives in jeopardy, but also costing me serious money. So buckle up, man! I'm tired of paying for your mistakes. :)

But you need to keep in mind, that if Professor John Adams is correct (After the first quote box) you're paying for people who wear seat belts as much as, or more so, than those who don't. Seeing as if the number of injuries and fatalities remain relatively static even with mandatory seat belt use, then you should see more injuries and fatalities with seat belts than without. Of course, I am assuming that seat belt use increases with mandatory laws, and not decreases (which would be just as good a reason to remove the law anyway).


But you need to keep in mind, that if Professor John Adams is correct (After the first quote box) you're paying for people who wear seat belts as much as, or more so, than those who don't. Seeing as if the number of injuries and fatalities remain relatively static even with mandatory seat belt use, then you should see more injuries and fatalities with seat belts than without. Of course, I am assuming that seat belt use increases with mandatory laws, and not decreases (which would be just as good a reason to remove the law anyway).

Let's see if I understand what you're saying:

Seatbelts don't prevent accidents.

Seatbelts laws mean more people wear seatbelts.

So, with the same number of accidents occurring, the number of people injured wearing seatbelts has increased.

We should repeal the law so we don't have to pay the increased cost for the people who were injured while wearing seatbelts.

It's true, you are just looking to argue.


Disenchanter wrote:


How many of those ever get advertising time?

Someone was paying for those ads. And really, who would do that without some form of coercion.

The specific adverts to which i refered are government funded.

Their aim is to lower road deaths.

The reason the government shows them is so that it can use a lowering of deaths on the roads as a, a way to score political brownie points to improve their chances of retaining power at the next election and b, because road deaths cost the country as a whole money.

Disenchanter wrote:


So why was seat belt law getting air time? There had to be something behind it - in my point of view. But I never could figure the angle.

Because at the end of the day, people are stupid and lazy and don't get the message that they are more likely to die, if involved in an accident, if they are not wearing a seat belt.

Scarab Sages

Having just been in my 6th rear-ending accident a week ago, I can say I have some experience and knowledge about the subject.
Wearing a seat belt has certainly saved me from injury, or at least made it less serious. I was not wearing a seat belt once... after that it was a no brainer.
I can understand about the "govt keep out of my body" philosophy but I also think there are times when the lowest common denominator needs to be told what to do because they are too stupid to do it them selves.
I only started using a seatbelt because of the law change and I didn't want a ticket. I was young and stupid but glad I have been doing it ever since.


fray wrote:

I was not wearing a seat belt once... after that it was a no brainer.

I only started using a seatbelt because of the law change and I didn't want a ticket. I was young and stupid but glad I have been doing it ever since.

Huh? Which is it? You started wearing them because you were in an accident or because the law forced you to?

Dark Archive

Zombieneighbours wrote:

The reason the government shows them is so that it can use a lowering of deaths on the roads as a, a way to score political brownie points to improve their chances of retaining power at the next election...

This is a pretty cynical attitude. I see a flaw with it, at least here in the U.S. I see those commerials all the time, but I have neverseen one which says, I am so and so and I approved this message. In fact I have never seen it endorsed by one political party or another. The ads ran just as much when the current minority party was the majority as they do now. The only way it could be a ploy for the current government to retain power is if we were having an election where we were voting to keep our current constitutional system or to install James Jacobs as dictator for life.

The Exchange

This is the UK, not the US, he is talking about.

Dark Archive

Ah. I can't speak for any knowledge on that subject.

Dark Archive

Ok I didn't read the whole thread. I am against the government telling people how to live their lives in most cases.

With that said i think everyone SHOULD wear a seat belt and for children and those mentally challenged it should be legally required. But I am against the seat bet law for adults. I think people should be allowed the freedom to decided for themselves.


shriekback wrote:

Let's see if I understand what you're saying:

Seatbelts don't prevent accidents.

Seatbelts laws mean more people wear seatbelts.

So, with the same number of accidents occurring, the number of people injured wearing seatbelts has increased.

We should repeal the law so we don't have to pay the increased cost for the people who were injured while wearing seatbelts.

It's true, you are just looking to argue.

Haha.

So let me see if I understand you.

I make a thread to explain my stance on the seat belt law issue.
I have several posters trying to explain how my stance is wrong.
But I am the one looking to argue? But I am not done yet...

I deflect a common argument that "those that don't wear seat belts are affecting my bank account (such a noble reason to have the law, don't you think?) by pointing out that those that wear seat belts are just as likely, if not moreso, to affect that same bank account...

And I am just looking to argue?

Yes. It is my fault that arguments exist. You have stumped me. :S


Let's assume that seatbelts decrease the damage in a crash by e amount on average. Let's assume that before seatbelt laws were in effect the average damage in a crash was X amount. Thus seatbelt laws should have caused the average damage in a crash to become X-e. Now from the stats in the OP, it looks like after the seatbelt laws were in effect that the average damage in a crash was still X amount. So why didn't it decrease, if seatbelts reduced the damage in a crash by e amount on average. Perhaps because the forcing of the seatbelts actually caused a relative increase in the damage of crashes due to drivers feeling "safer" (airbags as well as larger vehicles have shown an increase in the seriousness of a crashes as well). The seatbelt laws actually may have caused people to drive more dangerously.

Grand Lodge

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I just draw from the experience I have see up close. My sister-in-law was in a car the two other guy when they went of the road and rolled several time. she had her seat belt on and the others did not. One of the guys had a portion of his skull removed to keep him alive. He spent a week in a coma and six more weeks in the hospital. He is now jobless and friendless because he is now extremely violent and mentally disturbed. The other guy broke his back and neck. Luckily he didn't end up in a wheel chair but has chronic back problems. My sister in law has a small scar on her hand that is it.

Another person I know was thrown from a truck and skidded along a barbwire fence for about fifty yards and it virtually skinned him alive. He now has a fake face and scars covering his body.

I don't care what the stats say I where my seat belt and started wearing it before it was a law.


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Disenchanter wrote:


I deflect a common argument that "those that don't wear seat belts are affecting my bank account (such a noble reason to have the law, don't you think?) by pointing out that those that wear seat belts are just as likely, if not moreso, to affect that same bank account...

And I am just looking to argue?

Yes, because you do seem to be trying to push an argument that doesn't seem to exist. You're seriously trying to say that people wearing seat belts are more likely to cause me to pay for their injuries? Are you trying to imply that weaing the seat belt is some causal mechanism or just a coincidence of people being more likely to wear their seat belts in the first place?

In either case, if people are suffering less severe and less costly injuries because of the seat belt than the cost of mortality or the injuries without the seat belts, then the seat belt requirements are good public policy.


David Fryer wrote:
Zombieneighbours wrote:

The reason the government shows them is so that it can use a lowering of deaths on the roads as a, a way to score political brownie points to improve their chances of retaining power at the next election...

This is a pretty cynical attitude. I see a flaw with it, at least here in the U.S. I see those commerials all the time, but I have neverseen one which says, I am so and so and I approved this message. In fact I have never seen it endorsed by one political party or another. The ads ran just as much when the current minority party was the majority as they do now. The only way it could be a ploy for the current government to retain power is if we were having an election where we were voting to keep our current constitutional system or to install James Jacobs as dictator for life.

Cynical? Really?

How is it any more cynical than thinking that government is so how attacking liberty for its own ends by making people wear a seat belt?


Bill Dunn wrote:
Disenchanter wrote:


I deflect a common argument that "those that don't wear seat belts are affecting my bank account (such a noble reason to have the law, don't you think?) by pointing out that those that wear seat belts are just as likely, if not moreso, to affect that same bank account...

And I am just looking to argue?

Yes, because you do seem to be trying to push an argument that doesn't seem to exist. You're seriously trying to say that people wearing seat belts are more likely to cause me to pay for their injuries? Are you trying to imply that weaing the seat belt is some causal mechanism or just a coincidence of people being more likely to wear their seat belts in the first place?

In either case, if people are suffering less severe and less costly injuries because of the seat belt than the cost of mortality or the injuries without the seat belts, then the seat belt requirements are good public policy.

It is that 'noble arguement' that is used by many libitarians to argue for the reduction of state provision for all sorts of things that provide benifits to people.

If it is okay for you to argue for removal of state involvement in medical provision, based upon governments costing more than private enterprise, despite the fact that it provides more equitable provision to all. Then i think the same argument must be considered valid when it is used to argue for inforced seat belt usage.


Disenchanter wrote:
But you need to keep in mind, that if Professor John Adams is correct...

I love it when people quote wikipedia to me as if it's a reputable source. Seriously, if I believed everything that wikipedia told me, I'd believe that oil doesn't come from decaying animal and plant life, that Nazis built UFOs, and that the government had advanced knowledge of the 9/11 attacks.

I don't mean to make light of your claim, but seriously, one crack pot does not a theory make. If you can find two or three resources that aren't on someone's blog, on wikipedia, on Ask Yahoo! or the equivalent, then maybe I'll take your claim a little more seriously. Until then, I'm afraid I'll remain more than a little skeptical.

In any event, while I can't say definitively what John Adams bases his claims on, I have done a quick search in JSTOR for academic papers on seat belt safety. Not only do these papers take into account variables, such as personal behavior, they all say that wearing your seat belt reduces the chances of injury and fatality in a car crash.

I wish I could provide links to the articles, but unfortunately, you'd have to have a JSTOR account to read them. However, here's a smattering of the articles, in case you have access, or you want to look them up yourself by some other means.

-Estimating the Impact of Seat Belt Use on Traffic Fatalities: Empirical Evidence from Canada
Anindya Sen, Brent Mizzen Canadian Public Policy / Analyse de Politiques, Vol. 33, No. 3 (Sep., 2007), pp. 315-335

-The Effects of Mandatory Seat Belt Laws on Driving Behavior and Traffic Fatalities The Effects of Mandatory Seat Belt Laws on Driving Behavior and Traffic Fatalities
Alma Cohen, Liran Einav The Review of Economics and Statistics, Vol. 85, No. 4 (Nov., 2003), pp. 828-843

-Sample Selection in the Estimation of Air Bag and Seat Belt Effectiveness Sample Selection in the Estimation of Air Bag and Seat Belt Effectiveness
Steven D. Levitt, Jack Porter The Review of Economics and Statistics, Vol. 83, No. 4 (Nov., 2001), pp. 603-615


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
pres man wrote:
Let's assume that seatbelts decrease the damage in a crash by e amount on average. Let's assume that before seatbelt laws were in effect the average damage in a crash was X amount. Thus seatbelt laws should have caused the average damage in a crash to become X-e. Now from the stats in the OP, it looks like after the seatbelt laws were in effect that the average damage in a crash was still X amount. So why didn't it decrease, if seatbelts reduced the damage in a crash by e amount on average. Perhaps because the forcing of the seatbelts actually caused a relative increase in the damage of crashes due to drivers feeling "safer" (airbags as well as larger vehicles have shown an increase in the seriousness of a crashes as well). The seatbelt laws actually may have caused people to drive more dangerously.

The stats in the OP, the ones from SITCIOT, are so incomplete as to be deliberately misleading. We don't know the rate of seat belt use in those states in 1994. Can we assume they rose from the national average of 58% to their levels in 2006? We don't know the number of cars/miles driven over the time either and how that has changed over the 12 years. We also can't take their claim that a 23% reduction in Michigan is negated by a 31% increase in Hawaii at face value. The amount of driving in Hawaii may have increased significantly compared to Michigan. We're left with raw numbers bereft of any context.

SITCIOT, with that little table, is engaging in blantantly bad statistics.


Bill Dunn wrote:
pres man wrote:
Let's assume that seatbelts decrease the damage in a crash by e amount on average. Let's assume that before seatbelt laws were in effect the average damage in a crash was X amount. Thus seatbelt laws should have caused the average damage in a crash to become X-e. Now from the stats in the OP, it looks like after the seatbelt laws were in effect that the average damage in a crash was still X amount. So why didn't it decrease, if seatbelts reduced the damage in a crash by e amount on average. Perhaps because the forcing of the seatbelts actually caused a relative increase in the damage of crashes due to drivers feeling "safer" (airbags as well as larger vehicles have shown an increase in the seriousness of a crashes as well). The seatbelt laws actually may have caused people to drive more dangerously.

The stats in the OP, the ones from SITCIOT, are so incomplete as to be deliberately misleading. We don't know the rate of seat belt use in those states in 1994. Can we assume they rose from the national average of 58% to their levels in 2006? We don't know the number of cars/miles driven over the time either and how that has changed over the 12 years. We also can't take their claim that a 23% reduction in Michigan is negated by a 31% increase in Hawaii at face value. The amount of driving in Hawaii may have increased significantly compared to Michigan. We're left with raw numbers bereft of any context.

SITCIOT, with that little table, is engaging in blantantly bad statistics.

Ok, is there any blantantly good statistics that show that the number of deaths and or serious injuries in accidents has decreased?


While a seat belt prevents instant death by ramming your head against the windshield, internal wounds caused by the seat beat itself (particularly to the liver) can be just as deadly if you don't make it to the hospital in time.

Having said this, I do wear my seatbealt (dying in minutes-to-hours are still better odds than dying -instantly-). This may have been mentioned earlier in the thread, but I was too lazy to read it in full.


DoveArrow wrote:
Disenchanter wrote:
But you need to keep in mind, that if Professor John Adams is correct...

I love it when people quote wikipedia to me as if it's a reputable source. Seriously, if I believed everything that wikipedia told me, I'd believe that oil doesn't come from decaying animal and plant life, that Nazis built UFOs, and that the government had advanced knowledge of the 9/11 attacks.

I don't mean to make light of your claim, but seriously, one crack pot does not a theory make. If you can find two or three resources that aren't on someone's blog, on wikipedia, on Ask Yahoo! or the equivalent, then maybe I'll take your claim a little more seriously. Until then, I'm afraid I'll remain more than a little skeptical.

In any event, while I can't say definitively what John Adams bases his claims on, I have done a quick search in JSTOR for academic papers on seat belt safety. Not only do these papers take into account variables, such as personal behavior, they all say that wearing your seat belt reduces the chances of injury and fatality in a car crash.

I wish I could provide links to the articles, but unfortunately, you'd have to have a JSTOR account to read them. However, here's a smattering of the articles, in case you have access, or you want to look them up yourself by some other means.

-Estimating the Impact of Seat Belt Use on Traffic Fatalities: Empirical Evidence from Canada
Anindya Sen, Brent Mizzen Canadian Public Policy / Analyse de Politiques, Vol. 33, No. 3 (Sep., 2007), pp. 315-335

-The Effects of Mandatory Seat Belt Laws on Driving Behavior and Traffic Fatalities The Effects of Mandatory Seat Belt Laws on Driving Behavior and Traffic Fatalities
Alma Cohen, Liran Einav The Review of Economics and Statistics,...

Dove, in fairness, Wikipedia is a perfectly useful Secondary sourse, provided you treat it as such, rather than a primary sources, but that could be said of any secondary source.

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