This blog is about the story of my family here in America. We arrived in the 1630s as Puritans, and became the common folk of the New World.

The seat belt generation

I learned to drive in the 1970s, and consider myself to be the first *seat belt generation*. In fact, I consider people my age were the transitional generation between being interested in automotive safety, and being fatalistic about dying in a car crash as *natural causes*. As you can tell, I didn't ever believe that dying in a car crash was to be considered *natural causes*. I wore a seat belt.

I cringe when I watch old movies and I know that people are in cars without seat belts, surrounded by plate glass (modern glass breaks up into small peoples, plate glass shatters into deadly shards). But I definitely remember a lot of my friends choosing not to wear a seat belt, saying something like, *when it's my time to go, I'll go*. But I hated the thought of my face going through a windshield. And I must have understood basic physics more than a lot of people, too.

I moved away from home when I was 18, and I have to admit to being more than a little shocked when I saw my parents, many years later, visit me, wearing seat belts in their car. And this was long before there was a seat belt law. I had considered wearing seat belts was something that indicated that I was the young generation, like not smoking.

I don't see too many people who don't wear seat belts nowadays. Maybe it's the law. Maybe attitudes have changed. The car I have now, in addition to seat belts, has front and side airbags, rollover protection, side impact beams, crumple zones. You know, a five-car crash rating. It's funny that all of this is now taken for granted. There doesn't seem to be much pining for the *good old days* when even a minor accident would leave you, if not killed, severely injured. How about that? The world is getting better, and people are getting smarter.

Buckle up. And live.
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