This Woman's Worth

31 July 2006

Personal Safety

Wow! It's been a LONG minute since I've posted. Sorry I've been away so long, but... now that there is a new chapter beginning in my life... I'm feeling the need to blog.

I'm in between jobs right now. Yes! I've found a new job and have quit my old bullshit job. I start working as a child protective services case worker with the department of social services on Wednesday. I've been out of work since Thurs, and have actually enjoyed my time off. I really wish I didn't have to work, because I love being home and I love running around getting things accomplished during the day. BUT I gotta work to live, so back to work I go on Wednesday. I hope I'll enjoy my new job. It's, also, gonna allow me to be able to go back to school and change my career! So, atleast there's already a positive to the new gig.

I vacationed with the family in the mountains of NC for the week of the 4th of July. I enjoyed it, but it felt very strange with my older sis not around. Tears were shed throughout the week as we all missed her.

The Friday before we left for our vacation, I met someone. A guy. We talked via telephone all through my vacation, and have been seeing each other since I got back. That's all I'm telling you.

I learned something new about my life, recently. Something my mom has kept from me for 29 years. While I was thanking my mom for teaching me the importance and safety of wearing a seatbelt, explaining to my nephew how a seatbelt works, and bitching about all these parents I watch driving around without their kids safety in mind, my mom decided to tell me of why she started using carseats while I was a baby and of why she taught me and my younger sis to wear seatbelts. My mom told me she was driving somewhere with her best friend and her best friend was holding me in her lap in the front seat. I was a toddler. So, this would have been the late '70s when no one was wearing seatbelts and they didn't understand the importance of carseats for babies. She cont'd to tell me that she had to slam on brakes, because someone pulled out in front of her and as the car stopped, she watched me continue to move forward to the windshield. She said her bestfriend caught me and pulled me back, and that the next place I was put when the car was in motion was a carseat. In other words, I was that baby. I was that baby that almost went through the windshield and died, because I was not in a carseat.

I can't tell you how many times a day I see people riding with their babies in their arms, babies and children crawling around in the backseat, or in the front seat without a seatbelt. Some parents even allow their small children to ride in the front seat knowing that if the airbag is released, it can kill that child. I just don't get it! Don't these people love their children? If they do, then why are they not providing them with safety when riding in a vehicle? Yes, there is the concern of the child being trapped and not being able to get out of the vehicle in an emergency, but would you rather jeopardize your child's life and watch them be flung from your car and killed instantly instead of watching them live through an accident so that you can watch them smile and laugh and play another day?

How do seatbelts work? They help to keep you in the car when your car is stopped abruptly. If you're driving 45 mph and you crash, yeah, your car stops, but you don't. Although your car has stopped and is no longer at the speed of 45mph, your body is still traveling that fast. The seatbelt AND child car seats keep your body in the car and stops your body when the car stops. If you don't have your seatbelt on or your child isn't in his/her car seat, you and/or your child WILL continue to travel at the speed your vehicle was traveling and exit the vehicle via the windshield. Do you really want this to happen?

A teammate of my current man died two weeks ago, because he was not wearing his seatbelt. He was traveling back to the city after a game, lost control of his vehicle, and as it hit a tree, his body was flown from the vehicle, crashed through the windshield, and was dismembered. He died instantly, along with his 16 yr. old cousin. If they had been wearing his seatbelt, he'd be alive today. And his kids and baby's mama would have their father and boyfriend.

My 14 yr. old nephew watched a man being thrown from his BMW convertible, because the man was not wearing his seatbelt. The man was driving down a single lane road, decided to pass the driver ahead of him, the driver ahead of him decided to be an asshole and sped up to not allow the BMW driver to pass, and the driver of the BMW met a truck head on. The driver swerved, was nicked in the bumper, the car drove into a ditch, and upon the immediate hault of the BMW, the man was thrown from his car and into the ditch. He died instantly. If he had been wearing his seatbelt, he'd be alive today.

4 years ago, my best friend called me hysterically. Another one of her friend's baby was on it's way to Chapel Hill, NC, because the local hospital could not stabilize the baby. The girl and her man allowed their children to crawl around the car while it was in motion. My friend was constantly begging them to make their child stay in his carseat, but they never listened. One night, on their way home, they were driving down a dark country road. They wrecked. The baby was thrown from the car and suffered severe brain damage. No, the baby did not die, but the baby will never be normal again. The baby, also, lost limbs. If that child had been in it's carseat, he'd be normal. Now, the parents have to live with their and their child's losses.

My senior year in college, I learned that a teenager was thrown from his vehicle and killed instantly. He was on his way home to get his gun to go back to a club to kill someone he was fighting with at the club. He was driving 65 in a 50 mph zone and took a steep curve that lead him to lose control of his vehicle, hit a tree, be thrown through the windshield, wrapped around a tree, and split in half at the waist. He wasn't wearing his seatbelt. If he had been wearing his seatbelt, he'd be alive today.

So, ya see, wearing your seatbelt and placing your child in a carseat is much safer than not wearing one, because you're a thug, you're too cool, you're invincible, or because you're afraid of being trapped in the vehicle. Please, readers, when you're getting into your vehicle, fasten your seatbelt. Also, put your child in his/her carseat, correctly! If you aren't sure of how to use a child's carseat correctly, your local police department will be more than willing to show you how to use it correctly. If your child isn't in a carseat, make them put on their seatbelt!