The Herald, Sharon, Pa.


June 1, 2013

It may not be cool, but it is smart to buckle up

---- — EDITOR’S NOTE: Nine years ago I wrote a column that every teenage driver needs to read, especially at this time of year when we often see accidents and deaths involving young people who just graduated from high school. Following is that column:

Here are some thoughts from a guy who got a laugh when he read about the new campaign to make seat belts cool for teens.

Hey, boys and girls, I know where you’re coming from on this one. Man, nobody wants to put on those seat belts.

They clash with the colors in your shirt and it’s just not cool. If your buddies see you wearing a seat belt, you’re going to get some serious dissing.

But here’s some advice from a guy who raised two boys through teenage years and was probably considered to be an uncool dad at times when I harped on them about wearing seat belts.

The main thing when you’re a teenager is to take a serious look at the degrees of coolness. Just where do seat belts rank on this?

You know what’s even less cool than wearing a seat belt?

Getting hit square in the face with an airbag while you’re jerking forward at 65 miles per hour and it’s coming at you at more than 100 mph.

Ouch! Those sirens can hurt your ears when the ambulance is rushing you to the hospital. Then they put you in one of those blue robes that tie in the back so your butt hangs out. And they stick tubes in your arms. No coolness here.

It’s so cool when that seat belt holds you in place and the air bag doesn’t hurt much. And it’s even cooler to use your cell phone and have your dad tell you, “Don’t worry, insurance will cover the car. I’m just glad you’re OK.”

You know what’s so not cool?

Having your body blast through the back window of the car, shot like a rocket during a crash. I have to tell you: All that blood can really mess up your “do.”

You know what’s uncool to the max?

Having your head bouncing on the pavement. Your skull breaks into 100 little pieces and your eyeball falls out of the socket. Dude, that is so uncool.

It’s also very uncool when you are thrown out the door of the car as it rolls over during a wreck. When all that metal crashes down on your chest and breaks your ribs and you can’t breathe — it is so uncool.

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