This is all very fine and large, Simon, and I can appreciate your
statistical arguments, but to be honest I don't know that many people,
who when push comes to shove would knowlingly put themselves in a
position of increased danger on the road to the benefit of others.
I'm talking of Mr Average Motorist here, rather than perhaps emergency
services and others who might do that from choice.
With these specifics taken out of the equation, it doesn't strike me
that most people would go unbelted on the argument that it is safer
for the other guy. I can see the logic, but it is
To email, substitute .nospam with .gl
Well you know one. I'd prefer not to have the accident in the first place.
Not wearing a seat belt reduces the risk of my being involved in an
I'm not asking anyone else to prefer it. I'm explaining why I personally
don't wear a seat belt for perfectly logical reasons and why the claim that
"seatbelts save lives" is in fact untrue. They don't. The claim "seat belts
are safer" is similarly bogus.
In the words of Prof Adams [reference above]: "The evidence from Britain,
which has been singled out as the only jurisdiction in the world in which
it is possible to measure fatality changes directly attributable to a seat
belt law, suggests that the law produced no net saving of lives. It did,
however, redistribute the burden of risk from those inside vehicles, who
were already the best protected, to those outside vehicles, who were the
OK, I see what you are saying. Accepting what Prof. Adams says (no
reason not to); the implication is that you feel that you are less
likely to be involved in an accident because you feel that not wearing
a seatbelt will make you more likely to be careful as I understand
what you are saying. Correct me if I'm wrong.
Therefore from the fatalities and accidents point of view, you can
perhaps argue that because you are being safer, you stand less chance
of being involved in an accident with the more vulnerable pedestrian.
Even if they cause an accident by being drunk, stupid or not paying
attention they would appear to be less likely to be as harmed because
you had been driving carefully? OK, fair enough.
However, if you then consider other car users who are wearing seat
belts, and the argument runs that they are being less careful as a
result, it seems to me that in that scenario, your not wearing a
seatbelt reduces the risk of you having an accident caused by you, but
not one caused by everybody else. I'm not sure of the applicable
statistics here, but although you have reduced the risk on your side,
overall for you it is not reduced that much because of everybody
else's stupidity. Let's say hypothetically that the penalty for not
wearing a seatbelt was unacceptable to you (doesn't matter what the
penalty would need to be) and as a result you did wear a seatbelt; I
am not sure that the situation would have changed since you with your
view regarding pedestrian vulnerability yu would drive carefully
On the subject of penalties, presumably at some point you will be
stopped and prosecuted. I don't know what the penalty is off hand
(money plus points presumably). Would you just pay up or do you feel
that you would contest the issue?
To email, substitute .nospam with .gl
It's not what I feel in particular. Every driver not wearing a seat belt is
thereby less likely to be involved in an accident. That's what the
demonstrations of risk homeostasis show. It remains the case that in the
event of them nevertheless being involved in one of these (less likely)
accidents, then the probability of death or more serious injury for each of
those drivers who has been so involved is more likely because in the event
of an accident a seatbelt protects you more.
Correct - or indeed less chance of being involved in an accident with
As long as you understand that this greater caution on the part of the
unbelted driver is not a conscious matter.
No. It does not so follow. The fact that you are more cautious increases
the chance of you avoiding an accident - period. That includes an increase
in the probability of you avoiding an accident that is (as you put it)
"caused by someone else" - because you are more cautious generally. It
doesn't mean (as some idiots have suggested) that I am saying you can avoid
all accidents. There are some scenarios whereby there can never be any
conceivable way for you to avoid them - however alert and careful you are.
But equally there are numerous accidents that are "caused by someone else"
which you can avoid being involved in by imposing an increase in caution on
I agree that if every driver did not wear a seat belt then there would
indeed be less accidents in total. I don't see that ever happening.
Yes it has (see above).
<GBP>10 last time I was knicked about 10 years ago
It's not a matter of my "view" at all. Risk homeostatsis is not something
occuring at the conscious level.
However you consciously choose to drive, you are more cautious un-belted
because you personally feel more vulnerable - every second.
Twice in 20 years
Nope. Just a fine (see above).
What's to contest? The law is quite clear - albeit quite wrong.
Generally speaking it never comes to it. Generally, I have found that an
explanation of why I don't wear a seat belt to the copper concerned results
in them just walking away. Funnily enough, I have found that the average
plod seems to have far less difficulty grasping these fairly simple
concepts than the average usenetter.
I can't believe that people are still responding to this thread. It
has nowt to do with DIY, and quite frankly if someone feels that they
don't want to wear a seat belt then that's their business - no animals
or children are harmed by this difference of opinion - and it occurs
to me that no amount of ya-boo-sucks arguments are going to change
minds on either side.
My own position is that I happen to wear a seat belt, and insist on my
family wearing seat belts, because I am persuaded that they are a good
idea and could have a seriously beneficial effect in the event of a
collision. But if someone else has a different view that's cool, it's
their life to do as they wish with, and the only time this would cause
me a problem is if that person were a passenger in my vehicle. Aside
from that (which isn't going to happen anyway) I couldn't give a
flying toss about the argument either way.
Any chance we could all drop this rather ridiculous argument and get
back to what this forum is supposed to be about?
If you REALLY want to feel insecure, the obvious example is to ride a
motorcycle. Arguably motortcyclists are amomngst the bets drivers there
are - they have to be. The death rate is still higher tho.
Personally, I would willingly trade the additional paranoia of not
having a belt, ffor self induced paranoia, and the knowledge that if te
worst DOES come to the worst, I personally meay be able to walk shakily
away from a twisted lump of metal.
That's right. You personally may be able to. At the same time every other
bugger is thereby placed at greater risk from you. You increase the
likelihood of the "twisted lump of metal" occuring.
That's the point.
You wish to minimise risk to yourself. I wish to minimise risk to other
road users. We have different objectives and each adopt the strategy best
suited to our respective objectives.
Not very Dawrinina of you, but even if its true - and staitistics only
show co-incidence, not necessarily correlation and certainly not
necessarily causality - then isn';t it time the pedestrians had seat
belts of their own?
Indeed. Possibly its related to teh fact that they are statistically
more likley to do short hops, not under quite so much time pressure, and
the damage they do in the supermarket car parks never gets into the
Anecdotally women can be as good as men in driving. They just aren't
often interested in being good. Men try harder, but that often makes
them worse...*shrug* its a funny old world.
Well said. Safety is as mich an attidude of extreme alterness introduced
nby sheer terror as anything else. However I have been driving long
enough to be suitably terrified every time I get behind teh wheel,
seatbelt or not.
AND having been a fairly keen motor racing spectator in the past, as
well as seeing the effect on un-belted pasengres in accidents, I would
never ever embark on a trip without getting the belts on, apart from the
300 yard one to the corner shop, where I have to admit the occasional
lapse. Which even I admit is stupid.
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