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!