When Christopher Raynor woke up on September 12, he had completely different intentions in mind for his day. Raynor was on the way to eat breakfast before his wedding when another vehicle raced through a red light, slamming into Raynor’s car on Westgate Road. Raynor, who was not wearing a seatbelt, fell out of his car and was run over by a third vehicle. Instead of holding a wedding as planned, his fiancé converted it into a memorial service.
As tragic as this story, a crucial point arises from it. Raynor would have been unharmed if he was wearing a seatbelt. In fact, 55 percent of people killed in car accidents were not wearing a seatbelt. 4,200 lives are lost yearly because Americans refuse to buckle up. Studies show that Americans age 16 to 24 are least likely to wear a seatbelt.
Natalie Cox, sophomore, never wears a seat belt. When asked why, she had a few reasons. “I really just don’t see the need; they’re really uncomfortable.” When asked if she would change her mind after learning that seat belts save lives daily, she laughed and said no.
Fortunately, not all students think like Cox. In a random survey at Leesville, 70 percent of the students said they do wear seat belts. This is drastically lower than the national percentage of 90.
Students at Leesville have varying reasons for wearing the belts. Kristen Ross, junior, said, “Click it or ticket!!” Legal implications caused the majority of Leesville to put on a seatbelt. However Kyle Gorman, sophomore, had a very different view. “I wear a seatbelt because I want to live to see my life go somewhere. I want to grow up and be famous.”
Whether students wear seatbelts because they don’t want to die, or just due to the legal implications, experts agree that wearing seatbelts is a good thing. Statistics prove that seatbelts save lives daily, so buckle up. You never know when yours might need saving.