11 September 2007

Notable Safety Point

Last Friday on Slate:

A couple of weeks ago, I was sleeping in the front passenger seat of our car when it slammed into the vehicle in front of us. We were on the highway coming home from a family trip. The other three people in our car weren't hurt. But I'd reclined my seat, and my seat belt, which was riding high, left a long welt around my rib cage and along my stomach. As it turned out, I had internal bleeding from a lacerated spleen and three cracked ribs. I spent the next two days in intensive care.

I've recovered nicely, thank you. But the more I thought about my accident, the more I wondered whether I'd inadvertently done myself in by tilting my car seat back—as I do on just about every long drive....

S'pose it's pretty easy not to think about how catastrophically a seat belt can fail to protect you if you're not sitting upright. Beware!

Also, I personally think it's terrible that the clout of the carmakers keeps anything from being done in terms of regulations for warning labels. I'll freely admit that I never read the manuals of the cars I drove all the way through — odds are I missed a number of things that might've been good for me to know...ah well!

(Linked from By the Way.)

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