by Daytona Dayton
It was 7:10AM this morning when I rushed out of the house into the car with my three teens trailing right behind me. Today we needed to get to school early as my graduating senior had to present his Senior project and needed to unload the trunk filled with props and displays. I knew that we would be late due to a road construction detour, and sure enough, a human stop sign gave us the signal to pause while facing traffic was directed through the "one lane road". While waiting, I had a couple of minutes to glance around the car, take a poll and was amazed. We all had our seat belts on! As rushed as we were flying out of the house we subconsciously buckled up.
I then reflected on when it all started, twelve years earlier, when my children were very small, and I chose to make it a priority to make sure everyone was buckled up, no matter how late we would be to any event. I was a single mother going to a college in Georgia. I drove forty miles to school everyday (one way) and on one particular day the entire four lanes were blocked and traffic had come to a stop because of an accident. When everything was cleared and the ambulances were headed to the hospital, traffic was able to move again.
I saw one of the cars with two huge round bulges in the windshield, where two heads had hit. The image never left my mind the entire day. That night on the news, what was even more devastating, was that the accident involved a young couple and their two children. One child was sitting in the lap of the mother, and the other was in the back seat. No one had their seat belts on and no one survived.
The event effected me to the point that later I created seat-belt safety tours through elementary schools to teach children to remind their parents to buckle up. I teamed up with a police officer in which we made appointments together. I would use one of my racing suits and mention that "cool driving" is being "buckled up" just like real race car drivers, and the police officer would mention that "it is the law". We both had our cars, a race stock car and a police patrol car at the school and the kids had much fun and learned the importance of seat belt safety.
For me, the best way to remember to buckle up is to tape a picture of loved ones to the dash board. The few seconds to "buckle up" even in a rush can keep smiles alive.
In Honor of Memorial Day Weekend, I would love to hear positive "buckle up" stories from those who chose to MAKE THE EFFORT! Let's share great ideas in how to motivate others and BUCKLE UP FOR LIFE!
Here is wishing everyone great lifetime smiles and a very safe Memorial Day Weekend.