LD 24 (SP 22) "An Act To Make Failure To Wear a Seat Belt a Primary Offense" (This Bill will be enacted Sept. 20th, 2007)
Joanmarie Pellegrini, MD
Those of you who watch Healthy Living know that we have covered seat belt use several times. However, this summer in Maine we have seen several terrible injuries that we believe are related to the lack of restraint use. Also, there have recently been several fatalities related to the lack of restraints. Although there are some mechanisms of injury that are simply nonsurvivable, most mechanisms will result in lessened or little injury if a seat belt is properly used. For instance, there is good data to show that of those occupants in a motor vehicle crash that suffered a spine injury, the ones that were belted were more likely not to have any neurologic deficit (paralysis). We also have studies to show that people are more likely to wear their seat belt if they have been in an accident before. Unfortunately, Maine drivers and passengers do not do well when it comes to buckling up.
Therefore, I have a challenge to all of you who are reading this or who are watching this segment tonight: find three people you know and ask them to wear their seat belt the next time they are in a car. It could quite easily save their life or prevent serious injury in the future.