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Seatbelts: From the Teen’s View (Part Deux)

by Jacob P. | February 14th, 2014 | Safety, Teen Perspective, Teens

seatbelt2For those of you who may not know, I have previously written an article on seatbelts and teenagers, which you can read here.  This article is my follow up, seeing how things have changed over the two years since I wrote the last article.

First of all, the laws have not changed in New Hampshire.  Seatbelts are still legally mandated for all passengers and drivers under the age of 18, but those over 18 are not mandated to wear them (except for certain vehicles, such as state and municipally owned vehicles).  I have learned that if the driver of a vehicle is under the age of 18, all passengers must wear their seatbelts, even if they are over 18.  Interestingly enough, even after two years, there is no push to mandate seatbelts in New Hampshire.  “Live Free or Die” is taken very seriously.

Second, I have found considerable change amongst the habits of my friends.  When I wrote the first article, the vast majority, if not all, of my friends wore seatbelts.  At this point, I can say that considerably fewer wear them.  I would go as far as to estimate that 40% of my friends don’t wear seatbelts on a regular basis.  This is an impressive statistic, considering that not wearing one can get you arrested or killed.  What is also concerning is the reasons why my friends don’t wear them.  Usually, the response is something along the lines of “because it’s uncomfortable and I’m a good driver.”  Well, that’s a poor excuse to risk your life.  But hey, that’s just me.

Third, I can say that my personal perspective has not changed much.  As much as I feel that risking your life by not wearing a seatbelt is dumb, I also feel that you have the right to risk your life if you want.  Yes it is silly, but you can do whatever you want.  Frankly, I just don’t care.  Do what you want, just don’t complain when reality crashes down.  At the same time, I now believe that seatbelt laws for people under 18 are critical.  I don’t know if most people under 18 truly understand what not wearing one entails, so having laws to protect them until they are old enough to know better is always a good thing.

Seatbelts are more than just a strap that gets in your way when you move in the car.  They are one of the most protective devices imaginable, so make sure you wear them.  They can save your life.

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