Seat belt - preventive health care
21 October, 2010
Seat belt - preventive health care

I cannot remember a time while visiting Georgia that I didn’t witness or hear about some car accident. A young driver, an older driver, male or female!  Doesn’t matter really, this kind of news was always bad news.  I especially felt like this was an appropriate topic since I recently learned my Aunt was in a viscous automobile accident.  Thanks God she is safe, but she would have been better off if she had worn her seatbelt.  These “accidents” as we

like to call them, or lapses in judgment are either caused by a drunk driver or it was the woman’s fault (if she happens to be behind the wheel), but from what I myself have witnessed, I want to assume that it’s mostly to do with fits of road rage.  My Aunt could have sustained fewer injuries if she had worn her seat belt.  And one of my best friends who I grew up with would be alive today if he had worn his.  Seat belts are designed for a reason; they save lives, or can improve you quality of life even if you had a collision.  It’s designed for safety, a huge concern when it comes to health.  Why to have good health if you’re not being safe and you live haphazardly? I want to stress that seat belt use is a preventive health care action within public health. Clearly, a credible health and safety message is not being communicated effectively to our respective communities. There is a number of possible solutions, including: recognition of the role that health care providers play in shaping our attitudes and subsequent behavior in terms of prevention of disease and injury, educating physicians and health care providers to routinely recommend seat belt use especially for children, culturally appropriate educational safety programs, an improved relationship between law enforcement and communities, and zero tolerance for nonuse of seat belts.  That sounded like it came out of a text book, didn’t it?  Sometimes we have to approach a topic with “text-book” seriousness.  Every time I drive, the first thing I do is put my seat belt on.  First of all because I’m scared the police will see me and fine me.  I should fear for my health more, but when the law attacks my wallet I obey!  Works well, hopefully some wise guy in Georgia adopts the same premise.

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