In my family, they know me. I am a seat belt fanatic. It is not a nice to do. It is a must do. Before you start the engine, everyone in the car must be strapped in. My children are used to it now and do so automatically most of the time. Yesterday, had I not been strapped in I would not be sitting here typing these words to you today. Yes, this seat belt matter is not to be taken lightly. Let me tell you what happened.
On my way home after work, a commercial ‘danfo’ bus decided that it wanted to ignore the instruction to stop that had been given and rammed into my car so hard that it totally destroyed my entire boot and bumper sending glass from my shattered windscreen all over me in the car! I honestly thought I had driven over a bomb and was about to go meet my PapaGod (I was opposite the Officer’s Mess on Marina after all and perhaps those BH people had struck *laughing*). As it would happen, I was not on my way to heaven. I had just been attacked by another vehicle. One minute I was talking calmly on my phone and the next, all I heard was ‘Gbo-ah!’ and my whole body was being thrown forward. All that kept me from becoming a human projectile was my seat belt!
When my husband got to the scene and saw my car, saw how far the impact of the collision had moved it beyond the point of initial contact, saw all the glass in the car right up to the front seat. He was in shock. The first thing he said was ‘Thank God you always wear your seat belt’. Yes, thank God!
My question to you is ‘do you wear your seat belt?’ Maybe you do but only when you sit in front? Not a good idea. This seat belt matter is not a joke. Please begin to use it all the time.
I know sometimes it feels uncomfortable but please better a little discomfort than the plenty one that comes with whiplash. I know it rumples your shirt or leaves marks on your pretty dress but what’s a couple of wrinkles compared to broken bones? Stain marks can be washed. Gash and cut marks don’t wash off. I know the kids hate it and cry but last time I checked crying has never killed a child. Being thrown out of a car, on the other hand, does that very well. Yes, God protects but God gave the creator of the seat belt that knowledge for a reason so let’s do our own bit to keep ourselves safe. God helps those who help themselves, remember? So please enforce the use of seat belts in any car you are in (yes, even if it is not your car you can respectfully insist!).
I am so passionate about this whole seat belt matter that I recently launched a personal ‘War Against Endangering Children in Cars (WAEC in C)’ campaign. Will you join me? I hope so. Here is all you have to do:
- If you are a parent make sure your children are ALWAYS secured by their seat belts. Young children MUST be in their car seats (please be sure they are the correct car seats and fit properly in the car).
- In your car or any car you ride in please enforce the use of seat-belts for all passengers. And not just for those in the front seat. Those at the back too! No matter what, Intervene in Love! Don’t sit there biting your lip. Your intervention could save lives.
- If you are on FB or have a blog, post this to your time line for just one hour or at the end of your next blog post:
Join Salt’s ‘War Against Endangering Children in Cars (WAEC in C)’. Make sure your children use their car seats/seat belts when in moving cars. Not to do so is actually another form of neglect/abuse. Thank you in advance for really showing you love your children!
Thank you in advance for doing this. It might look like a small thing but nothing is small if has the potential of saving a life.
Bola Essien-Nelson (aka Salt) is a blogger/author based in Lagos, Nigeria. You can connect with her via her blog – The Salt Chronicles on Blogger where she is ‘seasoning’ the world around her one salt blog at a time.
God be praised for seat belts and for saving your life. I am glad we can still get salted by you.
Seat belts were very helpful in saving a very close friend recently. I think many of us under-estimate the efficacy of those inconvenient straps.
Our dear friends all around Africa, use your seat belts and please be your neighbours’ keeper. Remind the persons in the car with you to use theirs too. We still want to publish your success stories, you know. The World is waiting.