Wednesday, July 08, 2009

do seat belts really save lives?

we've all been brainwashed into thinking that wearing seat belts when travelling in a motor vehicle saves lives, right? actually, that's only partly true.

remember when wearing crash helmets was made compulsory for motorcyclists? there may be less deaths on the road but some of those that survive end up with serious injuries that leave permanent damage & disability.

so, similarly, we now have an emerging group of patients who suffer seat belt injuries
(read here)

mdm T was a front seat passenger in a car that was involved in a non-fatal accident 3 weeks ago. she developed abdominal pain & was admitted to hosptial for suspected intra-abdominal injury. a CT scan revealed a mesenteric tear, ie. damage to blood vessels supplying the bowel, & she underwent surgery to remove part of the small bowel that was injured.

2 weeks after that, she had to undergo another surgery & more damaged bowel was resected. she will not be able to eat normally for several weeks till the remaining bowel recover from the trauma.

i just have one question: since the government made it compulsory to wear seat belts, can we sue the govt if we sustain injuries as a result of compliance to the ruling?

in litigation-conscious USA, they actually have lawyers that deal specifically with seat belt injuries!!(read here & here)


Bengbeng said...

talking abt seat belts, i oways forget to wear seat belts when i sit at the back. hard to pick up new habits. :)

doc said...


better pick up the habit voluntarily than pay an expensive lesson for it!!

have a safe trip!

anastasia said...

I think people should stop looking for other people to blame and start taking some responsibility themselves.
It is a personal choice to decide to wear a seatbelt or not. Calculating the risk between wearing one and sustaining seatbelt injuries (not to mention possibly not die in a otherwise fatal accident) against being fined but not sustaining seatbelt injuries.

Also, there are probably statistics out there that says that there are more people who survive an otherwise fatal accident because of a seatbelt than there are people who sustain permanent injuries because of one. But I can't be sure.

doc said...


this post is not about looking for people to blame, neither is it about personal choice. (we were given a personal choice in the garden of eden & we showed that we were not capable of obedience.)

the govt had to step in with the seat belt & crash helmet ruling, because we were given the option to use them but voluntarily chose not to.

this post is about looking at the other side of the coin. like, even a car with airbags, ABS, EBD, BAS, DTC, etc etc may save lives but still result in irreparable bodily injury.

no modern gadget can substitute for good driving skill & attitude (as well as divine protection!).

safe driving & God bless!

ilene said...

Wah, you want to sue the goberment ah?! Then I think, most probably, maybe, Lingam would be a better litigator. whahahaha....

doc said...


that's just a hypothetical question. in any case, Lingam will be in cahoots with the govt & therefore cannot be trusted - isn't it sad these days that "lawyer" & "trust" often don't appear in the same sentence, except in the negative sense?

how about you - maybe you can be the defender for the weak & down-trodden?

ilene said...

DOC, we've lost faith in the judicial system. Even the Bar Council has its own political agenda. Sad! Any sensitive issues would be thrown out by the Federal Court let alone the Supreme Court.

doc said...


all too true! :(

(i believe the supreme court has since been abolished. correct me if i'm wrong but the hierarchy goes something like this: lower courts -> high court -> court of appeal -> federal court)

ilene said...

DOC, you are quite right when you say there's no more Supreme Court as our Tun M at that time suspended all the 5 judges of the Supreme Court. Following the suspension was tantamount to the suspension of the entire court.

Looks like you've been following the judiciary system! You should have become a lawyer instead! Hahahaha….

doc said...


yes, that was a black day for the judiciary.

i just follow current events esp via the online news portals.

J.C. said...

4 person in our community were killed in a car crash accident in Ladakh this month. Only one person & the driver survived the crash coz they were wearing safety belts whereas the others didn't.

So wearing safety belts in the car is a MUST now for our family.

doc said...

hi JC,

it's a must for my family as well.