“Seat belts can reduce the risk of injury or death to any passenger by forty five percent and potential critical injury by almost fifty percent” (Teen Drivers Source, 2018). The issue of wearing seatbelts can really create an impact on our society in a positive way if we choose to take wearing a seatbelt seriously, or negatively if we choose to ignore the problem and watch even more car crashes resulting in death. There are plenty of people who get into their vehicle and not even think twice about putting their seatbelt on. This is terrifying because one small mistake or distraction of that person or the other driver can result in a car accident and with not wearing a seat belt, that accident can result in death. I believe advocating for this social issue can make a big impact on how we see how important wear a seatbelt really is.
Most people will make excuses for their behavior in not wearing a seatbelt and say that, “Oh, I wouldn’t be the one to die in a car accident,” when simply their justification is insufficient. Insufficient Justification is the “reduction of dissonance by internally justifying one’s behavior when external justification is insufficient” (Myers, 111). Externally most of the car accidents resulting in death come with the reason that that person was not wearing a seatbelt.
To advocate for this issue, I would try my best to target young adults that are recent drivers. Teens tend to have the lowest rate of seat belt use of any age group, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (Teen Drivers Source, 2018). These subjects are already more likely to get into a car accident because they are recent drivers and have not had the proper length of experience on the road. My specific goal is to see a decreased percentage of accidents that do involve a passenger not wearing a seatbelt.
I think it would be very impactful to go around to different high schools or drivers-ed schools throughout the state and share stories of accidents and knowledge that comes from not wearing a seatbelt. I remember when I was in high school and the father of a boy who was killed in an accident came to share his story with all my classmates and I. It was a story and presentation that I have kept with me for a long time. I believe it is most impactful when you are personal and you put people in other’s shoes. Of course, it could probably be harder to get teenagers to pay attention and take the presentation seriously, so that’s when you come in with the incentive. Everyone that attends the presentation will receive a card with a specific number on it that will list out appropriate advocacy websites, and if they take a quick survey that can either get a few cents of each gallon of gas or a free car wash. Even as a college student I enjoy free things as well.
Raising awareness can lower that percentage rate of fatalities. You can simply just remind others, with stories and facts, that wearing your seatbelt is important. There are plenty of advocacy groups that raise money for this specific type of awareness as well, such as alwayswearyourseatbelt.org. This website is full of facts and ways that you can get the community involved in advocacy.
In conclusion I believe advocating for wearing your seatbelt is really important and can potentially save lives. It’s good for young adults and teenagers to learn and know the facts that driving a car can include, like wearing your seatbelt and being extra cautious on the road. Advocacy for this issue, I believe, can be at a great deal for all of us included on the streets. Just talking about and making issues known is a big step in the right direction towards safety or other benefits of current issues.
Seat Belt Use: Facts and Stats. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.teendriversource.org/teen-
Advocates – Always Wear Your Seatbelt. (2018). Retrieved from
Meyers, D. G. (2012). Social Psychology(11th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw- Hill.