Seat Belt Laws


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Bugleyman and I started a discussion on this in another thread, and I feel compelled to continue it. This isn't meant to "call out" bugleyman, but if he feels like posting in this thread I'd welcome it.

For the record, we seem to be on opposite sides of the issue. But, I'm making an assumption based on our exchange.
I'm against the government making laws preventing people from treating their own bodies any way they want. Unless it can be proven, clearly, that their actions put others at risk, I don't feel government should have any say. I'm Chaotic that way. ;-)

We have been inundated with propaganda, essentially, that claims seat belt use saves lives.

According to the Click it or Ticket campaign, "60% of fatal car accidents occured with occupants not wearing seatbelts." Unfortunately, I didn't have the patience to track down where they were hiding that ad blurb on their website, but I did find this site that relates that same statistic in it's third sentence.

It is presented in a way to suggest that if all of those people that had died had just worn their seat belts, they would be alive now.

The problem with that is that statistic also means that 40% (37% if you use the stats from car-accidents.com) of fatal car accidents occured with occupants wearing seat belts.

I think it is safe to assume that any accident that can cause your death while wearing a seat belt will also cause your death when you aren't wearing one. Sure there are some corner case examples that refute this, but it really is close enough.

Now, if we assume equal representation of accidents across wearing a seat belt, and not, that means 40% (37% from car-accidents.com) of those fatalities without a seat belt would have been fatal anyway.

I'm extrapolating a bit, but that suggests that maybe 1 in 5 fatalities could have been prevented by wearing a seat belt.

I have to stress maybe. Not only because my extrapolations aren't as accurate as they should be, but also because I don't think those statistics really get to the heart of the matter. I find it reasonable to think that the fatalities that occured without a seat belt were primarily caused by reckless driving, and that the accidents would still have occured even if seat belts were involved due to the poor driving judgement of those involved. Unfortunately for me, it is all too easy to debate if wearing a seat belt would have made a difference.

But is 1 in 5 fatalities prevented worth enforcing the requirement of wearing seat belts?

And then there is the question about quality of life, and if the individual would rather be dead than in the condition they might be in if the seat belt really does save their life...

And just to present another view, Stick it to Click it or Ticket is an online organisation lobbying against seatbelt laws. I'm not affiliated with them, nor do I claim them as allies or authorities. I haven't gone through their website to verify if I even agree with them fully. But I did want to point out this page for those that want to "talk data."

(I apologise for how crappy the formating will turn out to be, but I can't really do anything about that.)

SITCIOT wrote:

Traffic Safety Lie #3: “Seatbelts reduce traffic accident fatalities.” and/or “People who wear seat belts are safer drivers.”

The Hard Facts: According to the NHTSA’s “National Occupant Protection Use Survey”, Seatbelt use in the United States was at 58% in Fall, 1994. In 2006, the national use rate was up to a national average of 81% - an increase of 23%. Using the logic of today’s so-called traffic safety advocates that every seatbelt worn saves a life, we should notice a corresponding 23% statistical decline in the number of deaths on our roadways. But the statistics do not show this to be the case.

The top six states for seatbelt use (in 2006) were as follows: Washington (96.3%), Michigan (94.3%), Oregon (94.1%), California (93.4%), Puerto Rico (92.7%) and Hawaii (92.5%). The chart below shows the number of fatalities in each of these states each year, according to The Fatality An Reporting System (FARS).
Washington Michigan Oregon California Puerto Rico Hawaii
1994 640 1,421 494 4,232 122
1995 653 1,530 574 4,192 130
1996 712 1,505 526 3,989 148
1997 674 1,446 524 3,688 131
1998 662 1,366 538 3,494 120
1999 637 1,382 414 3,559 98
2000 631 1,382 451 3,753 132
2001 649 1,328 488 3,956 140
2002 658 1,277 436 4,088 119
2003 600 1,283 512 4,224 135
2004 567 1,159 456 4,120 142
2005 649 1,229 487 4,333 140
2006 630 1,085 477 4,236 161
-1.56% -23.65% -3.44% +0.09% +31.97%

An unbiased examination of the facts shows us that seat belts fail to produce the life-saving results their supporters credit them with even in the states where their use is most prevalent. While one could argue that Michigan benefited from seat belts with a 23.65% drop in fatalities, this is canceled by the 31.97% increase in fatalities in Hawaii. The remaining states have produced dismal results despite their very high seatbelt usage rates. The reductions in fatalities are in the very low single digit percentage point range and in some cases, a slight increase in fatalities was noticed.

And if bugleyman will forgive me porting a post in that other thread over to here:

bugleyman wrote:
Matthew Morris wrote:
I'm also against mandatory seat-belt laws. If I want to increase my own risk, where's the state to tell me I can't?
Great; except that society has to spend resources to scoop your brains off the road.

But the reality is, society is spending those resources even if no one is scooping Mathew Morris' brains off the road.

The response personnel aren't paid on a per job basis. They are still getting paid if they are sitting around the card table as if they are out scooping brains off the road.

Liberty's Edge

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With all due respect, I find your first supposition, that there are equal numbers of accidents with and without seatbelts, highly dubious. Given most people are law-abiding, there will be more (I don't know what proportion, I admit) people wearing seatbelts. Also, the way you're doing the comparison isn't really the best way.

I don't think the figures you'd need are there, but you'd need the number of fatal accidents with a seat belt, number of fatal accidents without a seat belt and the number of accidents as a whole with and without seatbelts. It's the latter that I think is not there. But what I suspect you'll see is a lot of accidents while wearing seatbelts that are not fatal and a much smaller proportion of accidents while not wearing seatbelts that are fatal.

In other words, seatbelts have already reduced the deathtoll as much as they're going to do. But I think partially you're right. Most of the non-seatbelt fatalities are now due to reckless driving as if you're not wearing a seatbelt it already shows a certain disrespect for traffic codes. However, that logic means that the people who don't wear seatbelts, and thereby break the law, are more likely to be reckless. It says nothing about what is safer in the event of a crash, which can be caused by a reckless driver hitting a car with seatbelts fixed.

As to those statistics, they do not take any account of number of accidents or even number of cars on the road. Raw numbers in this case, shorn of context, are statistically worthless.


Paul Watson wrote:
As to those statistics, they do not take any account of number of accidents or even number of cars on the road. Raw numbers in this case, shorn of context, are statistically worthless.

Oddly enough, that is a point I was trying to make about those that claim seat belts save lives.

And I agree the numbers really aren't there for my point. I thought I stated as such, but it obviously wasn't as clear as i thought.
But then, those same numbers are needed to clearly prove that seat belts are beneficial. Without them, all sides are making assumptions.

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Disenchanter wrote:
Paul Watson wrote:
As to those statistics, they do not take any account of number of accidents or even number of cars on the road. Raw numbers in this case, shorn of context, are statistically worthless.

Oddly enough, that is a point I was trying to make about those that claim seat belts save lives.

And I agree the numbers really aren't there for my point. I thought I stated as such, but it obviously wasn't as clear as i thought.
But then, those same numbers are needed to clearly prove that seat belts are beneficial. Without them, all sides are making assumptions.

I was referring to the numbers you quoted from Stick it to Click it to Ticket (who really need a shorter name) where you seemed to be using them to support your point.

Unfortunately, the best I can find with a quick search is here but that doesn't really have hard stats. It does claim a 25% reduction in fatal accidents in the year seat belts were introduced compared with the previous year when they weren't.


Paul Watson wrote:
Unfortunately, the best I can find with a quick search is here but that doesn't really have hard stats. It does claim a 25% reduction in fatal accidents in the year seat belts were introduced compared with the previous year when they weren't.

I'm not nit picking you, but to be clear to others that is claiming a reduction in fatal accidents the year wearing seat belts became mandatory.

And I do question this line:

"In summary, wearing rates have been maintained around 95 per cent."

Is that to say Great Britain maintained around a 95% seat belt wearing rate before and after the mandatory laws?
Or is that only the rate for the 8 months the study was performed?

I'm inclined to believe the later, but without a corresponding statistic of use before the study, we can't be certain use increased.

Dark Archive

I live in New Hampshire, the one state where I can wear a seat belt, or *not*, legally. Live free or die, suckas!

(I usually wear my seatbelt anyway. The way I take corners, I'd throw myself out the window if I wasn't strapped in...)

We live in a country that lets people smoke themselves to death, buy lottery tickets with their welfare and social security checks and considers spending your college years so blitzed that you'll never know whether or not you raped any of those sorority chicks that were always passing out at the parties a sacred rite of manhood. Making people wear seatbelts is some sort of crazy mixed message from the government.

Die, Die, Die! Oh, but be safe on the roads!

So many contradictions in this country. Aborting fetuses is bad! Killing grown ups is good! Have that three martini lunch, but you'd better stay away from the trans fats! ('Cause we'd rather you ingest something that will endanger everyone around you than let you endanger yourself!) Buy a hummer! But don't forget to recycle your plastics! Smoke, smoke, smoke those Philip Morris brand cancer sticks that kill a half million people a year! But not pot, which kills a half dozen people a year, because none of the big companies are making money off of that stuff, just small independent farmers! Assisted suicide for people who want to die, bad! Lethal injections for people who want to live, good! Swine flu has killed a dozen people, PANIC! The plain old flu that we decided it was 'wasteful drunken sailor spending' and 'irresponsible government pork' to pay for vaccines for killed 30,000 people this year, shrug and sweep the bodies under the rug.

Democracy. Making crazy laws for a crazy nation full of crazy people. It's enough to make one take a cold sober look at the libertarians, and wish they had someone who wasn't totally crazy. :)

Are seatbelts a good idea? Yeah. So's flossing. But I don't *have* to floss.


I did find this Time Magazine article that at first glance supports SITCIOT's data. I have to read further.

EDIT:: The following is the closest they get to numbers:

Time Magazine wrote:
What he found was that contrary to conventional wisdom, mandating the use of seat belts in 18 countries resulted in either no change or actually a net increase in road accident deaths.

EDIT 2:: The shear number of advertising pages for Seat Belt Injury lawyers isn't particularly heart warming....

EDIT 3:: I have given up looking. No site I have found gives any hard numbers on anything. All of the pro-seat belt sites toss around "seat belt use is estimated to save [blah] lives each year." And the anti-seat belt sites are either no better, or produce numbers that aren't terribly useful. (But they do produce hard numbers. :-P)

The Exchange

Trying to make seatbelts some sort of bogus civil liberties issue is pretty dumb. The comparison with cigarettes is also bogus because cigarettes are an addictive item, the prohibition of which could cause social issues (smuggling, crime and so on) whereas wearing a seatbelt is simply a sensible precaution against getting smeared across the road.

It is comprehensively clear that seatbelt wearing is a good thing. It used to be thought that if you were in a car without a belt you would be "thrown clear" of wreckage and so less likey to suffer an injury. Actually, getting thrown clear is probably going to kill you and being held securely in place inside the car is more likely to allow you to survive. As a result, an accident that could cause a fatality may instead cause injury or even no injury. Certainly you are much more likely to get hurt being flung about inside a car like a pea inside a shaken tin than you would be if you are held in place. You are not guaranteed to survive, depending on the nature and the severity of the accident, but it is more likely. Incidentally, rear seatbelts are also important as, even in a relatively minor smash, a passenger could be flung forward with sufficient force to kill a person in the front of the car.

Where a death or injury is preventable, and the cost-benefit trade off (including civil liberties) is acceptable, then arguably it should be prevented, by legislation if necessary. Moreover, the social cost of people dying on the roads is arguably sufficiently great (families without breadwinners and so on) that there is also a financial, taxation impact which sensible legislation should also curb. Wearing a seatbelt is not an infringement of your liberties, it is a sensible precaution. If the government legislates to save you from your own ideas about civil liberties, "good" say I.


Aubrey the Malformed wrote:
It is comprehensively clear that seatbelt wearing is a good thing.

It is?

Aubrey the Malformed wrote:
It used to be thought that if you were in a car without a belt you would be "thrown clear" of wreckage and so less likey to suffer an injury. Actually, getting thrown clear is probably going to kill you and being held securely in place inside the car is more likely to allow you to survive. As a result, an accident that could cause a fatality may instead cause injury or even no injury. Certainly you are much more likely to get hurt being flung about inside a car like a pea inside a shaken tin than you would be if you are held in place.

These are the kinds of assumptions both sides are making.

Aubrey the Malformed wrote:
Where a death or injury is preventable, and the cost-benefit trade off (including civil liberties) is acceptable, then arguably it should be prevented, by legislation if necessary.

Why? I'm not talking about preventing taking the life of those that do not wish to lose it, but if a person is properly educated (yes, that is another can of worms issue I'm not trying to open now) on the risks, and determines ignoring the risks is right for him/her, who really has the right to say otherwise?

To fully take it the way it is already going, I don't condone suicide (and the number of women I have talked out of it should suggest I am doing my part to prevent it) but who am I to say a person shouldn't be allowed to end their own life?


Disenchanter wrote:


These are the kinds of assumptions both sides are making.

It isn't an assumption.

It's physics.

Assumping a car speed of 30mph and a stopping distance on 1'

A 160lb driver wearing a non- stretching seatbelt comes to a stop with a force of 4800 lb and a deceleration of 30g's

A 160lb driver wearing a stretching seatbelt comes to a stop with a force of 3200 lb and a deceleration of 20g's

A 160lb driver wearing a non- stretching seatbelt comes to a stop with a force of 24,000 lb and a deceleration of 150g's

The lower the force and deceleration, the less damage to the person. This stuff has been tested to breaking point.

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Zombieneighbours wrote:
Disenchanter wrote:


These are the kinds of assumptions both sides are making.

It isn't an assumption.

It's physics.

Assumping a car speed of 30mph and a stopping distance on 1'

A 160lb driver wearing a non- stretching seatbelt comes to a stop with a force of 4800 lb and a deceleration of 30g's

A 160lb driver wearing a stretching seatbelt comes to a stop with a force of 3200 lb and a deceleration of 20g's

A 160lb driver wearing a non- stretching seatbelt comes to a stop with a force of 24,000 lb and a deceleration of 150g's

The lower the force and deceleration, the less damage to the person. This stuff has been tested to breaking point.

ZN,

I presume the third example should have a "not" in it after driver, right?

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32

Here is a question.

"Does your unseatbelted death in an auto accident increase my insurance premium?"

The answer to that is likely. Remember, I am required by law to carry Auto Insurance.

Here is a related question.

"If I happen to be involved in an auto accident with you, does your unseatbelted death in an auto accident increase the potential damage award that I may be required to pay?"

The answer to that is also likely. While I would not dispute that the person at fault in an auto accident should pay damages, your unwise choice not to take basic precautions is making that payout higher - potentially much higher.

For these two reasons, it is not just about "you" when you choose not to wear your seatbelt.

Liberty's Edge RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Just for the record, in Australia when seat-belt wearing became manditory it decreased the road toll by 15-20%.
Government Report (page 13-14, section 3.4).

In the case of the U.S., that would mean about 8,000 less dead people per year. Just sayin'.

The Exchange

Disenchanter wrote:
Aubrey the Malformed wrote:
It is comprehensively clear that seatbelt wearing is a good thing.

It is?

Aubrey the Malformed wrote:
It used to be thought that if you were in a car without a belt you would be "thrown clear" of wreckage and so less likey to suffer an injury. Actually, getting thrown clear is probably going to kill you and being held securely in place inside the car is more likely to allow you to survive. As a result, an accident that could cause a fatality may instead cause injury or even no injury. Certainly you are much more likely to get hurt being flung about inside a car like a pea inside a shaken tin than you would be if you are held in place.

These are the kinds of assumptions both sides are making.

Aubrey the Malformed wrote:
Where a death or injury is preventable, and the cost-benefit trade off (including civil liberties) is acceptable, then arguably it should be prevented, by legislation if necessary.

Why? I'm not talking about preventing taking the life of those that do not wish to lose it, but if a person is properly educated (yes, that is another can of worms issue I'm not trying to open now) on the risks, and determines ignoring the risks is right for him/her, who really has the right to say otherwise?

To fully take it the way it is already going, I don't condone suicide (and the number of women I have talked out of it should suggest I am doing my part to prevent it) but who am I to say a person shouldn't be allowed to end their own life?

And if they fly out the windscreen and kill a passerby, that's cool too? Or what if you aren't killed, but instead end permanently injured/brain-damaged/parapleigic, which could have been avoided if you had worn a seatbelt (you seem to assume it is death/walk away perfectly OK - it isn't like that), with the loss of quality of life for you, difficulties for your family and cost to society to look after you? What if your death imposed significant costs on society to look after your family when you are gone? This isn't a civil liberties issue, and this idea that you are a sole agent and what you do has no impact is false. And what, exactly, is the big deal about wearing a seatbelt? It's illegal to walk on railway lines because it might kill you, so what is the difference here?

Also if you take a deliberate decision to take your life, that is one thing. Dying stupidly because you didn't take a basic precaution is entirely another thing. Sometimes governments need to legislate against stupidity (drink driving laws, for example) as some people don't seem to be able to make the mental leap. I.e. deterrence is necessary.


Paul Watson wrote:
Zombieneighbours wrote:
Disenchanter wrote:


These are the kinds of assumptions both sides are making.

It isn't an assumption.

It's physics.

Assumping a car speed of 30mph and a stopping distance on 1'

A 160lb driver wearing a non- stretching seatbelt comes to a stop with a force of 4800 lb and a deceleration of 30g's

A 160lb driver wearing a stretching seatbelt comes to a stop with a force of 3200 lb and a deceleration of 20g's

A 160lb driver wearing a non- stretching seatbelt comes to a stop with a force of 24,000 lb and a deceleration of 150g's

The lower the force and deceleration, the less damage to the person. This stuff has been tested to breaking point.

ZN,

I presume the third example should have a "not" in it after driver, right?

Yes.. sorry, i was using copy paste to speed up producing the basic structure of the post, and somehow managed to forget to edit the paste to say not wearing a seat belt.


Aubrey the Malformed wrote:
Disenchanter wrote:
Aubrey the Malformed wrote:
It is comprehensively clear that seatbelt wearing is a good thing.

It is?

Aubrey the Malformed wrote:
It used to be thought that if you were in a car without a belt you would be "thrown clear" of wreckage and so less likey to suffer an injury. Actually, getting thrown clear is probably going to kill you and being held securely in place inside the car is more likely to allow you to survive. As a result, an accident that could cause a fatality may instead cause injury or even no injury. Certainly you are much more likely to get hurt being flung about inside a car like a pea inside a shaken tin than you would be if you are held in place.

These are the kinds of assumptions both sides are making.

Aubrey the Malformed wrote:
Where a death or injury is preventable, and the cost-benefit trade off (including civil liberties) is acceptable, then arguably it should be prevented, by legislation if necessary.

Why? I'm not talking about preventing taking the life of those that do not wish to lose it, but if a person is properly educated (yes, that is another can of worms issue I'm not trying to open now) on the risks, and determines ignoring the risks is right for him/her, who really has the right to say otherwise?

To fully take it the way it is already going, I don't condone suicide (and the number of women I have talked out of it should suggest I am doing my part to prevent it) but who am I to say a person shouldn't be allowed to end their own life?

And if they fly out the windscreen and kill a passerby, that's cool too?

Or a person in a back seat flying forwards and crushing a person in a front seat.

Or a child who cannot make an informed decision about their own safety.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Zombieneighbours wrote:


Or a person in a back seat flying forwards and crushing a person in a front seat.

Correct depending on where you are sitting in the car during a crash increases the chances of you harming someone else if you are not wearing a seat belt.

The above example was actually used in a road safety campaign advert it has a family (mother son and sister) climb into a car sister and mother in front son in back behind mother. the mother and daughter use the seatbelt the son doesn't.

The car is driving along when the mother suddenly hits the breaks to avoid hitting another car that has pulled out right in front of them, the son not wearing a seatbelt flies from his seat crashes into his mothers driving seat and crushes his mothers skull into the stearing wheel. he ends up with a busted nose whilst the mother ends up dead.

The above example is interesting since it doesn't even involve an actual proper car crash.


Kevin Mack wrote:
Zombieneighbours wrote:


Or a person in a back seat flying forwards and crushing a person in a front seat.

Correct depending on where you are sitting in the car during a crash increases the chances of you harming someone else if you are not wearing a seat belt.

The above example was actually used in a road safety campaign advert it has a family (mother son and sister) climb into a car sister and mother in front son in back behind mother. the mother and daughter use the seatbelt the son doesn't.

The car is driving along when the mother suddenly hits the breaks to avoid hitting another car that has pulled out right in front of them, the son not wearing a seatbelt flies from his seat crashes into his mothers driving seat and crushes his mothers skull into the stearing wheel. he ends up with a busted nose whilst the mother ends up dead.

The above example is interesting since it doesn't even involve an actual proper car crash.

It is a very effective advert.


Woah, a lot to cover.

Lord Fyre, as far as Insurance Costs, without the hard numbers Paul Watson and I were talking about, it is hard to know just how much our insurance is affected by not wearing a seatbelt.
If John Adams research is correct from the Time Magazine article I linked above, it is likely that insurance rates increases more from seat belt wearers.

Aubrey the Malformed wrote:
And if they fly out the windscreen and kill a passerby, that's cool too?

Has this happened? And in enough frequency to matter? There is at least one case where wearing a seatbelt caused the death of the wearer, here. I will grant you, that revolves around the seat belt being faulty. But isn't that a factor to consider?

Aubrey the Malformed wrote:
Or what if you aren't killed, but instead end permanently injured/brain-damaged/parapleigic, which could have been avoided if you had worn a seatbelt (you seem to assume it is death/walk away perfectly OK - it isn't like that), with the loss of quality of life for you, difficulties for your family and cost to society to look after you?

This is a dangerous topic to broach. If you really want to talk about the cost of permanent disabilities and seat belt use, you need to consider the fact that a death from not using a seat belt can be less costly than if the person had worn a seat belt and ended up with permanent disabilities.

Aubrey the Malformed wrote:
Also if you take a deliberate decision to take your life, that is one thing. Dying stupidly because you didn't take a basic precaution is entirely another thing. Sometimes governments need to legislate against stupidity (drink driving laws, for example) as some people don't seem to be able to make the mental leap. I.e. deterrence is necessary.

Careful now. You are starting to stray a bit away from my position. I have already stated that I am against government interaction unless it can be proven your actions put others at risk. And drunk driving falls into that area nicely.

Also, I asked if the person was properly educated on the risks, and I admit we are sorely lacking that for damn near all our drivers in all cases not just seat belts, why shouldn't they be allowed to choose?

Zombieneighbours wrote:
Or a child who cannot make an informed decision about their own safety.

And you as well need to watch where you take this. As I told Aubrey, I would really want to keep this about persons making informed decisions. And I will admit again, that we really don't have people being properly informed.

Also, if I was really so callous about the wellfare of children, I would be against car seats too. And I am not. I am trying to limit this to adults making their own choices about what affects them - no matter how stupid it may seem.

Zombieneighbours wrote:
It is a very effective advert.

And if I paid for a study, and commercial that proved that not wearing a seat belt can be beneficial in some cases, would that make my stance more legitimate?

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Well using the backseat example that clearly shows how by not having a seat belt you could cause injury to the person siting in front of you.


Kevin Mack wrote:
Well using the backseat example that clearly shows how by not having a seat belt you could cause injury to the person siting in front of you.

And using the example of a accident I am personally familiar with, but not actually a part of, the driver wearing a seat belt received brain damage from wearing the seat belt while the passenger received no lasting injuries while not wearing a seat belt.

That is a good reason to remove seat belts then, yes?

And if you don't want to go with my anecdotes, how about all of these lawyers that make a living off of injuries caused by seat belts?

Liberty's Edge

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Disenchanter wrote:
Kevin Mack wrote:
Well using the backseat example that clearly shows how by not having a seat belt you could cause injury to the person siting in front of you.

And using the example of a accident I am personally familiar with, but not actually a part of, the driver wearing a seat belt received brain damage from wearing the seat belt while the passenger received no lasting injuries while not wearing a seat belt.

That is a good reason to remove seat belts then, yes?

And if you don't want to go with my anecdotes, how about all of these lawyers that make a living off of injuries caused by seat belts?

How about all the lawyers who make money out of non-seatbelt injuries? A lot of lawyers make money out of shooting incidents. Clearly we should ban guns. Or those who sue for car crash victims. We should clearly ban cars. The argument you're putting forward (that because there are lawyers who win cases based on seat belts we should ban them) makes no sense as there are lots of lawyers who win cases against all sorts of thing.

Also, the evidence you asked for was given a 25% reduction in deaths when comparing the year before and after seat belts were mandatory. Would you really like to increase deaths by a third?

Also, as has been pointed out, physics is against you.


Paul Watson wrote:
Disenchanter wrote:
Kevin Mack wrote:
Well using the backseat example that clearly shows how by not having a seat belt you could cause injury to the person siting in front of you.

And using the example of a accident I am personally familiar with, but not actually a part of, the driver wearing a seat belt received brain damage from wearing the seat belt while the passenger received no lasting injuries while not wearing a seat belt.

That is a good reason to remove seat belts then, yes?

And if you don't want to go with my anecdotes, how about all of these lawyers that make a living off of injuries caused by seat belts?

How about all the lawyers who make money out of non-seatbelt injuries? A lot of lawyers make money out of shooting incidents. Clearly we should ban guns. Or those who sue for car crash victims. We should clearly ban cars. The argument you're putting forward (that because there are lawyers who win cases based on seat belts we should ban them) makes no sense as there are lots of lawyers who win cases against all sorts of thing.

Also, the evidence you asked for was given a 25% reduction in deaths when comparing the year before and after seat belts were mandatory. Would you really like to increase deaths by a third?

Also, as has been pointed out, physics is against you.

I will admit I was the reason the discussion turned. This really isn't about the usefulness of seatbelts or not.

It is about the choice to use then.

My post you responded to was reactionary against the claim that "an example" is good enough to have some one dictate how I decide to deal with myself.

The evidence you presented wasn't conclusive. Like I said, there were no statistics given to the amount of seat belt use prior to the year it became mandatory, nor anything that links actual seat belt use to being the factor that reduced deaths. It could simply be a by product of increased awareness.
You are using selective statistics to wage your case, when you, yourself, admit the hard number don't exist.

And where does physics prove me wrong? I mean, aside from proving that by my very stance no one should drive since the very act of a moving car clearly puts others at risk?

Liberty's Edge

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Disenchanter wrote:
Paul Watson wrote:
Disenchanter wrote:
Kevin Mack wrote:
Well using the backseat example that clearly shows how by not having a seat belt you could cause injury to the person siting in front of you.

And using the example of a accident I am personally familiar with, but not actually a part of, the driver wearing a seat belt received brain damage from wearing the seat belt while the passenger received no lasting injuries while not wearing a seat belt.

That is a good reason to remove seat belts then, yes?

And if you don't want to go with my anecdotes, how about all of these lawyers that make a living off of injuries caused by seat belts?

How about all the lawyers who make money out of non-seatbelt injuries? A lot of lawyers make money out of shooting incidents. Clearly we should ban guns. Or those who sue for car crash victims. We should clearly ban cars. The argument you're putting forward (that because there are lawyers who win cases based on seat belts we should ban them) makes no sense as there are lots of lawyers who win cases against all sorts of thing.

Also, the evidence you asked for was given a 25% reduction in deaths when comparing the year before and after seat belts were mandatory. Would you really like to increase deaths by a third?

Also, as has been pointed out, physics is against you.

I will admit I was the reason the discussion turned. This really isn't about the usefulness of seatbelts or not.

It is about the choice to use then.

My post you responded to was reactionary against the claim that "an example" is good enough to have some one dictate how I decide to deal with myself.

The evidence you presented wasn't conclusive. Like I said, there were no statistics given to the amount of seat belt use prior to the year it became mandatory, nor anything that links actual seat belt use to being the factor...

ZombieNeighbours post on the forces involved in deceleration.


Paul Watson wrote:
ZombieNeighbours post on the forces involved in deceleration.

And how does that prove that we shouldn't be allowed to choose?

And that seat belt use is clearly safer than not using seatbelts - not just theorised?

EDIT:: If we are using theory, John Adams research in the Time Magazine article theorises that mandating seat belt use is far more detrimental to the safety of drivers and passengers.

Scarab Sages

I'm not saying yes or no to seat belt laws. But at what point does it become invasive? How soon will we see a law that outlaws smoking at home if you have children? Seems to make sense, but it's your house, isn't it?

When will our legislatures decide that we as citizens (what ever your country) are too dumb to decide how to cross a street?

Oh wait, crosswalks....

Seriously though, what's next? Tickets and/or jail time for "inappropriate" speech in public? (define that one how you will)

The whole effort to legislate stupidity seems to be such a waste to me.

Of course most people label me a redneck, so...


Paul Watson wrote:
ZombieNeighbours post on the forces involved in deceleration.

Some of the forces involved in deceleration would be more accurate.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Disenchanter wrote:

And using the example of a accident I am personally familiar with, but not actually a part of

Well if you want to use that argument I have a friend who was involved in a car crash who only survived because he had his seatbelt on (car went off the road and flipped about three times)


Kevin Mack wrote:
Disenchanter wrote:

And using the example of a accident I am personally familiar with, but not actually a part of

Well if you want to use that argument I have a friend who was involved in a car crash who only survived because he had his seatbelt on (car went off the road and flipped about three times)

I don't want to use that argument.

Why? As I explained to Paul Watson, I didn't want to turn this into a debate on if a seat belt is useful or not. While I didn't direct it at you, I also explained that my post was reactionary.

I am not trying to remove seat belt use.

I am not trying to turn the table and have any punishments against those that use seat belts.

I just want to be allowed to make the choice for myself. And so far, no one can point to any evidence that making that choice puts any one else at any greater harm than if I decide to drive or not.

And I am allowed to make that choice, assuming I pass testing. So why am I not allowed to make the choice of seat belts?


I don't really feel qualified to examine or comment on your math or statistics, but one line in your OP jumped out at me:

"But is 1 in 5 fatalities prevented worth enforcing the requirement of wearing seat belts?"

I would have to say that if it prevents ANY loss of human life, then YES it is worth it. And to suggest otherwise is awfully cold-blooded of you.


Invader Smee wrote:

I don't really feel qualified to examine or comment on your math or statistics, but one line in your OP jumped out at me:

"But is 1 in 5 fatalities prevented worth enforcing the requirement of wearing seat belts?"

I would have to say that if it prevents ANY loss of human life, then YES it is worth it. And to suggest otherwise is awfully cold-blooded of you.

Well... It may be cold blooded. But your stance is a little closed minded. (I'm not trying to be insulting.)

By your stance, all driving should be outlawed, since it would save over 40000 lives a year - according to one pro-seat belt site I found earlier today. And I could go on.


Invader Smee wrote:

I don't really feel qualified to examine or comment on your math or statistics, but one line in your OP jumped out at me:

"But is 1 in 5 fatalities prevented worth enforcing the requirement of wearing seat belts?"

I would have to say that if it prevents ANY loss of human life, then YES it is worth it. And to suggest otherwise is awfully cold-blooded of you.

And yet seatbelts are not required on school buses because it is not statistically significant of a factor in bus related accidents. One would think that even if one child would be harmed less by having seatbelts on school buses that would be enough to require their implementation, but it is not.

School bus out of control and children thrown around.


And I'm not trying to be insulting to you - my apologies if it came off that way. It just seems a little... reptilian... to weigh the possibility of saving a life against your inconvenience at having to wear a seat belt.


Invader Smee wrote:
And I'm not trying to be insulting to you - my apologies if it came off that way. It just seems a little... reptilian... to weigh the possibility of saving a life against your inconvenience at having to wear a seat belt.

You didn't. You may be shocked to find out just how reptilian I am in my thinking. ;-)

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.

We haven't gotten into the intelligence of the decision. ;-)


Okay then, I see your point. You are clearly well-informed about this matter, and have done your research. But the average citizen can probably not make the same claim, and many people may not understand the safety implications. As much of a hassle as it is to create and enforce legislation, it is still the best way to get the most amount of people to comply with what is, essentially, a suggestion about how to be a better driver. Greatest good for the greatest number, and all that jazz.


Plus it gives extra revenue when you can give someone a ticket for speeding AND for not wearing a seatbelt.


Invader Smee wrote:
Okay then, I see your point. You are clearly well-informed about this matter, and have done your research. But the average citizen can probably not make the same claim, and many people may not understand the safety implications. As much of a hassle as it is to create and enforce legislation, it is still the best way to get the most amount of people to comply with what is, essentially, a suggestion about how to be a better driver. Greatest good for the greatest number, and all that jazz.

I understand your point. And to a limited degree, I agree with you.

I'm all for legislation that protects people from others, but as I suggested we have to be a little careful about how we apply it or else we legislate ourselves into stone age sheep. (Let's not get into how many lives could be saved if we remove all manufacturing - an industry I work in)

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Disenchanter wrote:
Invader Smee wrote:
Okay then, I see your point. You are clearly well-informed about this matter, and have done your research. But the average citizen can probably not make the same claim, and many people may not understand the safety implications. As much of a hassle as it is to create and enforce legislation, it is still the best way to get the most amount of people to comply with what is, essentially, a suggestion about how to be a better driver. Greatest good for the greatest number, and all that jazz.

I understand your point. And to a limited degree, I agree with you.

I'm all for legislation that protects people from others, but as I suggested we have to be a little careful about how we apply it or else we legislate ourselves into stone age sheep. (Let's not get into how many lives could be saved if we remove all manufacturing - an industry I work in)

Potentially stupid question but: Why do you not want to wear a seatbelt? Do you enjoy risking your life while driving? Do you think you're such a good driver you don't need it? Do you just rebel against being told to do anything? I'm struggling to think of a good reason why you'd want to be less safe is all.


Well, any argument can be carried to a ludicrous extreme. Any suggestions that we get rid of industry, or stop driving altogether, are silly.
And the analogy that was made earlier about smoking cigarettes is, at the same time, both a good and bad one. Yes, smoking cigs is empirically unhealthy, and by the same logic as the seat belt laws it shouldn't be allowed. But the difference is that smoking is only harming yourself, and thus is considered by many to be a personal liberty. However, have you noticed all the new legislation that is being put in place over the past few years and where and when you can smoke? Like not in public buildings, or not within 20 feet of certain high-traffic entrances (at least in my state, at any rate). What this applies to is that grey area in which an individual's personal liberties start to intrude on someone else's. As in, you can feel free to smoke that stuff and poison your body, but I don't want to have to breathe it and harm my health (and besides, quitting was very hard for me and I still hate to see other people enjoying it. Bastards!)


Paul Watson wrote:
Potentially stupid question but: Why do you not want to wear a seatbelt? Do you enjoy risking your life while driving? Do you think you're such a good driver you don't need it? Do you just rebel against being told to do anything? I'm struggling to think of a good reason why you'd want to be less safe is all.

Well, firstly you are assuming I don't want to wear one.

And if we want to get into the intelligence of the decision we start broaching the topic for a far greater number of things than just my privilege to choose.

Do you really want to take it there?

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Disenchanter wrote:
Paul Watson wrote:
Potentially stupid question but: Why do you not want to wear a seatbelt? Do you enjoy risking your life while driving? Do you think you're such a good driver you don't need it? Do you just rebel against being told to do anything? I'm struggling to think of a good reason why you'd want to be less safe is all.

Well, firstly you are assuming I don't want to wear one.

And if we want to get into the intelligence of the decision we start broaching the topic for a far greater number of things than just my privilege to choose.

Do you really want to take it there?

So you're objecting to being forced to do something you'd do anyway? In which case I give up. You're arguing for the sake of arguing.


Paul Watson wrote:
Disenchanter wrote:
Paul Watson wrote:
Potentially stupid question but: Why do you not want to wear a seatbelt? Do you enjoy risking your life while driving? Do you think you're such a good driver you don't need it? Do you just rebel against being told to do anything? I'm struggling to think of a good reason why you'd want to be less safe is all.

Well, firstly you are assuming I don't want to wear one.

And if we want to get into the intelligence of the decision we start broaching the topic for a far greater number of things than just my privilege to choose.

Do you really want to take it there?

So you're objecting to being forced to do something you'd do anyway? In which case I give up. You're arguing for the sake of arguing.

A not so clever attempt at discrediting me for approaching a subject that might not directly affect me.

You have just discredited nearly all debate in one fell swoop.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Disenchanter wrote:
Paul Watson wrote:
Disenchanter wrote:
Paul Watson wrote:
Potentially stupid question but: Why do you not want to wear a seatbelt? Do you enjoy risking your life while driving? Do you think you're such a good driver you don't need it? Do you just rebel against being told to do anything? I'm struggling to think of a good reason why you'd want to be less safe is all.

Well, firstly you are assuming I don't want to wear one.

And if we want to get into the intelligence of the decision we start broaching the topic for a far greater number of things than just my privilege to choose.

Do you really want to take it there?

So you're objecting to being forced to do something you'd do anyway? In which case I give up. You're arguing for the sake of arguing.

A not so clever attempt at discrediting me for approaching a subject that might not directly affect me.

You have just discredited nearly all debate in one fell swoop.

No. It's because I give up. It's an ideological position which tend to be immune to logic and evidence, so there's no point wasting my time trying to find things to convince you. There's a dearth of evidence online, probably because it's been mandated for so long that i's just not worth digitising the original studies, anyway, and the ones I did find aren't good enough. So, I give up. I'm not trying to discredit you because frankly why would I bother? you're someone online who I don't agree with. It's not like there aren't millions of other people on line I don't agree with.


Paul Watson wrote:
There's a dearth of evidence online, probably because it's been mandated for so long that i's just not worth digitising the original studies, anyway, and the ones I did find aren't good enough. So, I give up. I'm not trying to discredit you because frankly why would I bother? you're someone online who I don't agree with. It's not like there aren't millions of other people on line I don't agree with.

Actually, there isn't a derth of evidence.

All of the pro-seat belt arguments are based on "estimates." All of them.

The only hard numbers are presented by anti-seat belt sites, and even those aren't hard enough to draw any real conclusions.

If seat belts are truly so statistically better, you would think that pro-seat belt advocates would be waving it around every day. If only to prove how much more intelligent the decision of wearing a seat belt is. But instead, they use unprovable estimates. It is almost as if the hard facts would disprove them - and I am not claiming it will.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Disenchanter wrote:
Paul Watson wrote:
There's a dearth of evidence online, probably because it's been mandated for so long that i's just not worth digitising the original studies, anyway, and the ones I did find aren't good enough. So, I give up. I'm not trying to discredit you because frankly why would I bother? you're someone online who I don't agree with. It's not like there aren't millions of other people on line I don't agree with.

Actually, there isn't a derth of evidence.

All of the pro-seat belt arguments are based on "estimates." All of them.

The only hard numbers are presented by anti-seat belt sites, and even those aren't hard enough to draw any real conclusions.

If seat belts are truly so statistically better, you would think that pro-seat belt advocates would be waving it around every day. If only to prove how much more intelligent the decision of wearing a seat belt is. But instead, they use unprovable estimates. It is almost as if the hard facts would disprove them - and I am not claiming it will.

Then don't say they will. Sorry, that's dishonest. It's like me saying "It's almost as if you're a paid-up member of the car industry who wants t o save costs at the risk to motorist's lives." It uses innuendo to discredit an opponent's viewpoint when you can't do so with evidence.

And I did manage to find something. you asked about rear seat belt statistics. Here's an article. The site might not let you view it all but the headline figure should be visible.


Paul Watson wrote:
And I did manage to find something. you asked about rear seat belt statistics. Here's an article. The site might not let you view it all but the headline figure should be visible.

I didn't ask about rear seat belt statistics, and I could view the site.

Again, hard stats weren't given - the very thing you called me on early in this thread, but if we accept this as fact there is a case for mandatory rear seat belt laws.

That still doesn't prove that drivers and front seat passengers should be required to wear seat belts for other peoples safety.

And finally, this isn't about the potential usefulness of seat belts. Even that article discusses the potential usefulness of seatbelts.

NewScientist.com wrote:
Most deaths and severe injuries of front-seat occupants of cars would potentially be averted by rear seatbelt use.

This is about my privilege to choose. And you still haven't produced anything that suggests my privilege to choose as a front seat driver/passenger puts any one else at risk - beyond being in a moving vehicle in the first place.


Kevin Mack wrote:
Paul Watson wrote:

[

So you're objecting to being forced to do something you'd do anyway? In which case I give up. You're arguing for the sake of arguing.
Agreed

Well. Good thing the government didn't take that stance for those that argued for mandatory seat belt laws.

Seeing as how they were arguing for something they (presumably) were going to do anyway.

The Exchange

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.
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.

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 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.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Actually I was agreeing with him since the impression I'm getting is that the only way you will change your mind if we happen to get a whole bunch of people together, have them crash cars whilst wearing and not wearing seat belts and then seeing what affect that has on bystanders.


Kevin Mack wrote:
Actually I was agreeing with him since the impression I'm getting is that the only way you will change your mind if we happen to get a whole bunch of people together, have them crash cars whilst wearing and not wearing seat belts and then seeing what affect that has on bystanders.

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?" Which does go beyond seat belt laws, but I am trying to limit it to them.

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