"Like most 22 year olds, I once thought that I was invincible and that nothing bad would ever happen to me. Despite my naiveté, I always buckled up. Admittedly, it was more because my seatbelt would keep me from sliding around in my seat when I took a hard corner or zig zagged in and out of traffic.

One winter's eve I had been out visiting friends and ended up staying a little longer than I had planned. When I left, I wanted to make good time despite the poor road conditions. In my defense, I was driving the speed limit on the highway, but it was to my detriment, as I should have been driving a lot slower. The roads were slick with fresh snow and there had been very little traffic to clear a way for me. As I got up to speed, I passed over a bridge deck were the road conditions went from poor to horrible. 20 years later I still remember the feeling of floating across the lanes. As soon as I drove over the lip between the highway and the bridge, it seemed as though I had lost all traction. At that point, everything was in slow motion as my car drifted across the lanes to the shoulder of the highway and into a windrow of snow from when the graders last passed by.

My memory goes from slow motion to blackout. The next thing I remember is looking through my front windshield and only seeing snow. I also recall the strange sensation of being suspended in my seat. As my situation started to sink in and my nerves started to return to normal, I slowly realized that I was upside down in a snow bank. I unclipped my seatbelt, fell to the ceiling and pushed my way out of the driver side door. As I climbed out, 2 men ran over from the other side of the divided highway. They had seen my car performing acrobatics and came running to see if I was okay. I don't remember anything after hitting the windrow, but they claimed they saw my car roll several times before coming to a stop.

My car was a complete write-off and I didn't have a single scratch on me. I can't say for sure what kind of shape I would have been in had I not been wearing my seatbelt, but I can guarantee that I would have had more than a scratch to remember the accident by.

It is so simple to do and also so easy to forget, but whether you're driving to the corner store or heading cross country on an extended journey please take the 2 seconds required to fasten your seatbelt. What's more important than your health and safety?"

Quick Tips

  • Seat belts save lives, but only if they are worn correctly, and as advised. Be sure that your seat belt is fastened correctly, and spans across your body from shoulder to opposite hip. Do not tuck the shoulder strap under the arm

  • No matter what vehicle you are driving, the seat belt should always be properly adjusted for your height. Just as you would adjust the seat or mirrors when getting into a vehicle, the seat belt should be adjusted to ensure that it is fitted properly so it may perform its designed function. Typically, seat belt height can be adjusted via the pull out mechanism over the shoulder. It is usually as easy as pushing in a button and sliding the belt pull to the desired height

  • When riding with children, always be sure that they meet the required standards if not riding in a booster or car seat. Be sure to know what the governmental recommended height and weight is for unaided seating of passengers

  • If you are using a child’s car or booster seat, be sure you follow the directions when fastening the seat belt to the child’s seat