I have struggled in the past with the debate between excessive government legislation and people just using common sense. I'm a proponent of seat belts but I am also in favor of individual choice. As dumb as I think it is to do things that are unhealthy for you, I am still not a huge fan of the government telling people what they have to do. I understand that those who don't protect themselves can pass on great costs and loss to others in society. I acknowledge that their choices can affect the public, but where do you draw the line when it comes to government prevention? I'll get off my soap box now.
Over the years I have taken health assessments and was always surprised when they asked if I always wore my seat belt when riding in cars or is I wore safety goggles when I use a weed trimmer or power equipment. At first I thought they should mind their own business and just measure my blood pressure and cholesterol to determine how healthy I was. After giving it some thought I had to admit that these simple preventative measures can have a big impact on your health.
I almost always wear my seat belt but there are times I forget to or try to justify that it isn't necessary. Sometimes I struggle if I'm only driving a short distance like on my way home from Church. One doesn't usually visualize getting into horrible accidents just blocks from their home on a quiet Sunday afternoon. I have to admit that in the past my biggest motivation for buckling up was because I feared getting a ticket. I guess that proves that the legislation does help. I've heard rare cases of someone who was saved because they were not wearing a seat belt, but studies show an overwhelming advantage to those who do use seat belts.
As much as I don't like being told what to do, it definitely makes sense to always wear a seat belt so I will. I am no longer doing it out of fear of the law, but because I know it's a healthy practice and I can help my kids develop this habit through my example. I'm adding this practice to my weekly commitments for the year.