Brian Goldsmith is an Associate Producer for the CBS Evening News.
As soon as I read that New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine—critically injured in a car crash yesterday—was apparently not wearing his seatbelt, I thought about what my mother says every time we split a cab.
If I don't immediately buckle up, she turns to me and utters just two words: "Princess Diana." Meaning, of course: if you're not going to wear a seat belt, remember what happened to her.
My mother has an excellent point. According to the reporters at CarAccidents.com, "Failure to wear a seat belt contributes to more fatalities than any other single traffic safety-related behavior." And: "63% of people killed in accidents are not wearing seat belts." And: "Seat belts are the most effective safety devices in vehicles today, estimated to save 9,500 lives each year. Yet only 68 percent of the motor vehicle occupants are buckled." And: "If 90 percent of Americans buckle up, we will prevent more than 5,500 deaths and 132,000 injuries annually."
This weekend, for everybody who might still consider riding in a back seat, or a front seat, or a driver's seat, without protecting themselves, I have two words of my own for you: Jon Corzine.