The Most Fashionable Belt: By Jumanah Al Awadhi

It is always fashionable; wearing it means more than following new fashion trends. Wearing it expresses your commitment and respect for the law, society, and the lives of others. And not wearing it shows you as reckless, arrogant, and remorseless. According to Wikipedia, the seat belt was designed to secure the occupant of a vehicle against harmful movement that may result during a collision or a sudden stop.

A seat belt functions to reduce the likelihood of death or serious injury in a traffic collision by reducing the force of secondary impacts with interior strike hazards and preventing occupants being ejected from the vehicle in a crash, or if the vehicle rolls over. Seat belts are an application of Newton’s first law of motion – an object at rest will remain at rest unless acted on by an unbalanced force. An object in motion continues in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force. Automakers are keen to emphasize its importance, because they are well aware of its ability to protect life.

The first driving lesson I got from my father was to not trust others on the street, because even if I am a skilled driver, it would not protect me from road surprises. The second lesson I learned was that I am responsible for the lives of other people. If drivers commit themselves to these rules, we would be safer and accidents would undoubtedly decrease.

The reason for this subject is a dialogue I heard between two friends of mine about children abroad who sit in the car seat without crying or screaming; contrary to our children, who do not accept to sit in the car seat or to use the belt!

I refuse to surrender to this reality and to show our children negatively, because the child is a mirror that reflects our image. And because of my work with children and adults, I believe that children accept information easier and faster than adults.

If we slacken our safety because we are confident in our driving, all this should change when there is a child in the car. For example, a researcher conducted a study about the impact of putting a sticker on the car that tells us that there is a “child on board” on the drivers around. The result was that most people are more careful when they see this poster. This is a good thing, but we must not rely on those around us and use the seat belt and the car seat for kids.

You can see with a quick search on YouTube what could happen to a child that weighs 15 kilos or less when the car stops suddenly, even if the speed does not exceed 80 kilometers per hour. A mother’s lap does not protect and the nanny’s arm is not a seat belt. It is illogical to wait to get a traffic violation from a policeman to take care of our children’s safety. Choosing the right seat for the child does not need a handbook from the Ministry of Interior, as all the information can be found on the Internet. Your initiative to maintain your child’s safety may motivate others to also take the initiative.

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