On July 17th at 8 am Kathy Thomas a good friend of mine from South Africa got some horrific news that her nephew had been in a sever car accident near Great Fish River
Bridge in South Africa… Her nephew (name withheld) age 35 has been on the road for about an hour with his fellow workers who’d been driving when they took the turn heading towards Port Elizabeth and went off the road.
There were 3 passengers in the back seat (2 in front) and all are lucky to be alive thou injuries are extensive, one passenger who was belt free was ejected from the car while another is now paralyzed from the neck down, and Kathy’s nephew is in critical condition in a Port Elizabeth Hospital, with 14 cracked ribs and 4 broken ribs and possible sever head injuries. Kathy’s nephew is LUCKY to be alive, he WAS wearing his seatbelt, (thou a lap belt and not a shoulder harness) but in South Africa the seat belt laws are LAX to say the least, as it’s not mandatory to wear them in the back seat. The extent of Kathy’s nephew’s injuries are not 100% clarified as of yet but the assumption is that because he was only wearing a lap belt and not a shoulder belt his head may have been exposed out a shattered window and been hit when the car over turned. His friends and family are all praying that he pulls through while Dr’s work on him.
In Canada and the USA wearing a seatbelt is the law, Click it or ticket use to be the moto, fines were handed out to anyone who was over 18 and not wearing a
seatbelt, and if it was anyone under 18 the driver got fined. I learned from Kathy that in South Africa most car accidents don’t even make it to the news, local or
other wise, which is a shame since awareness is the number one way to get people to realize that a seatbelt can save your life. The reason why those in the back seat
should wear belts, a free moving passenger can become a missile when thrown around in an accident, striking other passengers, and causing brain injuries and broken
bones and even worse, death.
So in concerns to my friend I decided to make sure that people know the statistics based on seatbelts and how it can save MANY lives, not just here in Canada but the world around! Reckless, dangerous and drunk drivers are usually the cause of driving accidents now days, This includes road rage, cell usage and texting while driving. I had learned that the driver was in excess on his speed of 180 KM per hour while taking a turn by the Great Fish River Bridge, unnecessary speed like this is what caused the accident and could have been prevented and the injuries more so if everyone had been wearing a seatbelt. Kathy believes that there ought to be a mandatory law on seatbelts
in South Africa as there is in the States and Canada, she’d like to start a movement to get the law started and those willing to SUPPORT her can contact her at
the following email address. firstname.lastname@example.org PLEASE be respectful as her only concerns is to make sure she helps spread the awareness in light of her own
family members horrific accident, anyone who can give her information on how to get awareness set out to the government where she’s located would be greatly
appreciated because it only takes one person to start a movement that can save hundreds of lives.
Approximately one out of every five drivers will be involved in a traffic crash each year and motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among people
ages 44 and younger and the number one cause of head and spinal cord injury.
Approximately 35,000 people die in motor vehicle crashes each year. About 50 percent (Aprox 17,000) of these people could be saved if they wore their safety belts.
More than 90 percent of all motorists believe safety belts are good idea, but less than 14 percent actually use them when traveling, for every one percent increase
in safety belt use, 172 lives and close to $100 million in annual injury, hospital and death costs can be saved.
Safety belts when used properly reduce the number of serious traffic injuries by 50 percent and fatalities by 60-70 percent. For maximum protection safety belts
should be fastened before traveling any distance or speed. Seventy-five percent of crash deaths and injuries occur within 25 miles of most persons homes. More than
half of all injury-producing motor vehicle crashes involve low speeds under 40 m.p.h. and most motorists are 25 times are more likely to be killed or seriously
injured when they are “thrown clear” than when remain inside their vehicle.
In a 30 m.p.h. collision an unbelted 160 lb. Person can strike another passenger, crash through a windshield and/or slam into the vehicle’s interior with
a 4,800 lb. force, that’s 2181.8 kgs!!! Passengers can increase safety belt usage by the driver never allowing their car to move till all passengers are buckled up.
Today over 25 countries around the world have some type of mandatory safety belt law. Results of these laws were measured; usage rate went from 20-25 percent
before passage to 60-90 percent after passage, South Africa is one of those countries who do not enforce mandatory seatbelt laws.
A common cause of death and injury to children in motor vehicles is being crushed by adults who are not wearing safety belts, or projectiles such as pets, cups,
and other items that are left in the car and are not properly stowed. One out of four serious injuries to passengers is caused by occupants being thrown into each
other. About 80 percent of all injuries to children in-car crashes are injuries to the head, causing brain damage, permanent disfigurement, epilepsy or death, Of
every 100 children who die in motor vehicle crashes at least 80 would survive if they were properly secured in an approved child safety seat or safety belts. Three
out of four families with child safety seats fail to use them correctly. Adults need to follow manufacturer’s instructions and secure seats properly before every
trip. An estimated 80 percent of children immunized against contagious diseases, but less than 10 percent are properly restrained when riding in a motor vehicle
world-wide. Parents and passengers, please for the love of god, if you love your family, your life and those around you, PLEASE buckle up, drive responsibly and
NEVER ever drink and drive.
DISCLAIMER: Names have been held to protech the privacy to the victims and family members. Updates will be added as more info is released on those involved and the pending investigation into this accident.