By Carlotta Meeker
You know, I never thought that something as simple as wearing a seat belt could really save someone’s life when I was younger. When I started driving as a junior at Andover High School, I would always tell my sister that I wouldn’t start the car until she put her seat belt on.
One day in the fall of 2005 my sister and I left the band room at the high school, never thinking that anything would happen, as we got to the vehicle. Getting in the vehicle I waited to start the car until both of us had our seat belts on.
As I started to turn out to merge onto Andover Road, a car whipped out of the other end of the school parking lot and hit me at 40+mph in a school zone. She hit the driver side of my Ford Probe and spun the car around, shattering all the windows and shifting the dash.
It all happened so fast
I wasn’t for sure what had occurred until the officer came to my car. It was hard for the police officer to handle what he saw because he was our Safety Resource Officer at the school and I was covered in glass and cut up. I had to “Dukes of Hazard” to get out of my car because there was no way to open the door.
If it hadn’t been for the bracing bar in the driver’s door, I would have received the full impact of the car. I was also informed by the officer and my doctor that it was a good thing that my sister and I were wearing our seat belts.
From this accident, I broke my ribs, messed up my sternum, and got a concussion but I survived. It made me realize how important seat belts really are and how they saved my life. Being safe is important because anything can happen that can change the outcome of our life.
Today we hear about people who die in crashes who would still be with us today if they had been wearing seat belt. It just goes to show that taking those few seconds to strap yourself in can really change your life.
Carlotta is a grad student at the University of Central Oklahoma