True Stories

 

Rafael Meza of Chicago, Illinois is an avid believer that safety belts can save your life.


His beliefs were put to the test on June 25, 2007, while driving home from school. Rafael was making a left turn and did not notice another vehicle approaching the intersection.

 

Rafael soon experienced the true value of his safety belt when his car was hit in the intersection that evening. His car forcefully flipped onto its roof and Rafael found himself upside down.

 

Pushing aside the shattered glass from the passenger window, Rafael escaped from his vehicle. Despite the severity of the crash, he suffered no injuries. "It is customary for me to wear my seat belt; I always wear it wherever I go," said Rafael. "Without my seat belt that night, I may have been thrown from my car." The other vehicle also could not be driven from the scene. Safety belts save the U.S. $50 billion annually in medical costs and productivity losses.

Rafael Meza Age: 22




Dan McGlathery of Wheaton, Illinois was not a big believer in safety belts. He thought safety belts were uncomfortable and he felt safe in his big truck.

A chance encounter with police at a safety belt check point changed his mind. Although he was irritated that the authorities cracked down on what he considered a "minor" violation, the resulting fine did convince him to change his behavior. Dan began buckling up every time he drove.
Dan soon learned the true value of his safety belt when he lost control of his truck, which violently rolled 180 degrees onto its roof. Dan found himself hanging upside down in the passenger compartment. Despite the severity of the crash, he suffered no major injuries.

Without his safety belt, he could have been thrown from the vehicle and may not have survived.

Research shows that safety belt laws, which allow for checkpoints like the one Dan encountered, have increased safety belt usage to the highest rate ever. Safety belts save the U.S. $50 billion annually in medical costs and productivity losses.

Dan is now a supporter of increased law enforcement to increase safety belt usage. "There are steps you can take to prevent injury, and you need to take them every day, every time you drive, since you never know when something might happen."

Dan McGlathery