Take precautions when you can

By Jeff Colyer

In my work as a surgeon, I have seen the damage that can be inflicted on human beings from many causes. Traumatic events can cost people their lives or leave significant scarring if they are fortunate enough to survive. 
One of the things I am most passionate about in my medical practice is reconstructing complex skull and facial deformities in children. Often, my skill as a craniofacial/plastic surgeon is put to use addressing not congenital issues, but injuries from gun shots and motorcycle or car accidents. 
I am not just a physician. I am also a father and husband who understands the pain families suffer when a loved one is injured. We can’t protect ourselves from every possible source of injury, but we should take precautions when we can.
Wearing a seat belt seems like such a simple thing to do and yet many people still fail to “buckle up” when they get in a car. The simple act of wearing a seat belt may spare your life and save your family from grief and anguish. 
In a car crash, an unrestrained person continues to move at the same speed the car was traveling prior to the crash.  Without a seat belt, you are likely to suffer severe injuries from the impact and broken glass, leaving you badly scarred.
As a surgeon, I can help hide the physical scars resulting from the shattered glass of a windshield. However, I can’t correct the less visible, yet equally real mental and emotional scarring from an accident. I urge you to buckle up every time you get in a car. It really can save your life.

Jeff Colyer is the Lieutenant Governor of Kansas.



  1. Anonymous10/09/2014

    Thanks for sharing personal experiences you have had as a surgeon treating injuries and also the advice for everyone to wear a seat belt. It is good to hear from a physician that wearing a seat belt is a better option than to experience the physical and emotional effects which can result from the broken glass of a shattered windshield. Thanks again for your comments as a father and a doctor.

  2. It seems so simple to those of us who DO buckle up on every trip but we continue to read newspaper articles about drivers and their passengers who do not use their safety belt.

    And often in those articles, we read that a person in the wreck who did buckle up survived with much less injury than the person who didn't (often the one not wearing their belt was ejected and did not survive).

    Thanks for your insight as a doctor.

  3. Anonymous10/09/2014

    I think the emotional scars can be almost as bad as the physical ones. Buckling up is such a simple way to help reduce both of those.

  4. It is always so sad when you learn someone was severely injured or killed and they didn't take the simple precaution to wear a seat belt. Thank you for the reminder.

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