In honor of Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Awareness Month let’s learn a few facts about seat belts.
On September 19th, 32 years ago, my life was tragically changed. I was in a car accident that left me paralyzed from the chest down with a C6-C7 SCI. When talking about my injury, people tend to focus on the car accident and I now use a wheelchair. That’s only a part of my story. Today, I want to focus on the part that nobody talks about. That is, I was not wearing a seatbelt. Not wearing a seatbelt not only affected my life but the lives of everyone that loved me.
Did you know:
- There are estimated to be 18,000 new spinal cord injuries per year (1) and around 40% of spinal injuries are caused by vehicle crashes. (2)
- https://www.nscisc.uab.edu/Default (Facts and Figures at a Glance 2023 pdf)
- Over 2 million car accidents result in injury per year
- In Maryland, there’s about 109,389 crashes with 43,408 people injured per year.
These are overwhelming, life-altering facts. We must buckle up!
Although I have been blessed to have fearlessly – with the help of family and friends – overcome many challenges as a person with a disability, I still wonder what life would look like if I had put on my seatbelt. I do believe things in my life have happened for a reason and I’m meant to be where I am today. I absolutely love who I am, what I do, and still wish I had taken the 3 seconds to buckle up.
Buckel up! Living with a SCI doesn’t have to be your story.
Wearing a seat belt can reduce your risk of fatal injury by 45% and moderate critical injury by 50%. Save your life in a short 3 to 4 seconds, fact.
Please, in honor of SCI Awareness month don’t forget to like, share, and buckle up!