For seat belts

In late August of 1955, I sailed a troopship home from Germany where I had been defending democracy. When I was released from the Army, I was met by my parents at Fort Dix in their new 1955 Ford Fairlane Sedan, RH&O. That’s radio, heater and overdrive, for the youngsters.

I put my duffle bag in the trunk and opened the back door to get in. What’s this? Green nylon straps with shiny aluminum buckles. Seat belts, of course. Dad was a pilot. Ford was the first to offer seat belts as an option.

I immediately saw the wisdom, and never again owned a vehicle without seat belts. Even a ’47 Ford truck. Why so many folks refuse to use them escapes me. My neighbor refuses to use them because the government requires their installation in new car! Governments do not mandate their use, which is fine with me, but that does not diminish the wisdom of their use.

I wish that newspapers would voluntarily report in every accident article whether or not seat belts were in use, especially if the lack of their use would likely have avoided injury or death.

Phil Miller