Posts tagged seat belt
I’ve seen this ad, produced by Sussex Safer Roads partnerships, three times in the last few days, so the chances are, you may have already seen it too. But the message it shares is so important, and the method of delivery so subtle, mouldbreaking and inspired, that if even one more person sees it and passes it on, it is worthwhile to share again.
It is called ‘Embrace Life’ and its sole purpose is to persuade you to always wear a seatbelt. You’d think that would be easy, given the proportion of car occupant fatalities who didn’t belt up, but the problem, which I’ve just illustrated is that to get the message across you have to talk about death, injury and crashes. And when you do that, people switch off. No-one thinks it will happen to them. And even having seen a graphic portrayal of the gruesome results of failing to clunk-click, the intended recipient of the message has dissociated the ad from their own life.
What this film does, is to come at the problem from a different angle, and with an impact that is emotional without being scary or sensational. I think the experience may vary from person to person, some may cry, others may feel uplifted, but I defy anyone not to be moved in some way.
Daniel Cox, the writer-director has this to say:
“It was central to the development of the project that we root the concept of wearing a seat belt firmly in the family domain, and create the advert so that it could be viewed by anyone of any age. Children are so important as opinion formers within their family that we felt it imperative to have a child take a pivotal role in relaying our message. One key aspect to the storytelling is that we developed Embrace Life to be non-language specific, so that the message wouldn’t become lost when viewed by visitors to, or residents of, the UK where English might not be their first language.”
I’ve waffled enough. Watch the ad.
It’s a date that may have passed you by, but yesterday marked the 50th anniversary of the humble seat belt – or more precisely the three point safety belt – patented by Volvo engineer Nils Bohlin in 1958 and first fitted to a production Volvo PV544 on the 13th August 1959.
Before this date, seat belts had been fitted to cars since the 1930′s , but all were of the two-point chest or lap-belt variety. It has been estimated that over 1 million lives have been saved by this innovation, and having spoken with members of the emergency services, it is clear that many more could still be saved if everyone made use of the belts fitted to their cars. In fact, one fireman told me that people not wearing seatbelts account for the majority of the fatalities he sees, a sobering thought, when you consider that only a hardcore 10% of motorists fail to buckle up.
The film initially looks like it might be a rather naughty romp in a car, but gradually reveals a very serious anti-drink drive message that really merits the 2.5 million views it already has on Youtube. Don’t watch it if you’re easily distressed.
That’s modifications to your body.
Today’s Times carries the story of Welsh teenager Jessica Collins who was involved in a serious car crash in Germany. Apparently her injuries were exacerbated by her belly-button stud being pushed by her seat belt through her body and almost to her spine. Doctors described the injuries as being like a bullet wound.
There’s more on icwales.
Unlike a certain satire site, I’m not going to suggest that removing your seatbelt would be an appropriate course of action if you have a navel piercing. And much as I understand the distraught parents’ pleas for teenagers to remove their piercings, the circumstances of the accident suggest that this was a freak incident.
But what you might do, if you have a piercing somewhere in your abdomen, but which you should certainly do anyway, is to check whether the seatbelt fits you correctly. For correct operation the lap part of your seatbelt should go over the pelvis region and not the stomach. The diagonal strap should pass over you shoulder and not your neck. If your seatbelt doesn’t fit, you can usually adjust the height of the seatbelt via the b pillars, and often the c pillars too.
The danger of news stories like this is that they will either put people off wearing a seatbelt, or – more likely – give the 10% of muppets who still drive without one another convenient but bogus reason to not belt up.
By wearing your seatbelt you will significantly raise your chances of surviving a serious accident – over 2,500 lives are saved a year, which means 250 are still being lost needlessly, and that’s to say nothing of the serious injuries prevented.
In contrast injuries caused by seatbelts are rare, usually amounting to bruising, often in the course of preventing more serious injuries, and only vanishingly rarely anything as serious as has afflicted poor Jessica.
You can find out more about seatbelt safety in this pdf download from RoSPA.
So remember – “Clunk, click – every trip” – and by all means get rid of your belly studs if you want, I’m not a fan.
And remember that modified car insurance is comparatively safe!