Rebuttal Rewrite- Giants

Misleading Statistics

My claim is understandably a very hard pill to swallow. The average person would be totally against the notion that seatbelts can do any harm at all. I am asking people to look outside the box and seek the truth that the average person would not. People have been indoctrinated to believe that these things can do no harm. “How many people do seatbelts save a year?” One might ask. While, yes, I must admit, the number of lives saved every year by seatbelts does not help my case by any means, but to assume that this number dismantles my argument would be to misunderstand my claim. I do not deny that seatbelts save many lives per year. I’m sure that they do. My claim asserts that if people don’t wear seatbelts, they are significantly less likely to be in an accident at all. Obviously, if somebody gets in an accident, they would be better off wearing a seatbelt than being without one, but perhaps if they hadn’t worn a seatbelt at all, there would be no accident to worry about.

While the numbers and statistics against my claim are certainly a worthy opponent, I believe that if somebody were to look at my argument through a different lens, the statistics seem to become a moot point. In other words, it doesn’t matter to me how many lives seatbelts save; what matters is how many people would have been unscathed and uninterrupted from driving on the road had they not worn their seatbelts. I believe that a lot of these numbers are actually facetious, anyway. One source brought up something very interesting to. They claim that people that have been involved in accidents have been lying about wearing their seatbelts in order to avoid getting in trouble, thus creating inaccurate statistics involving seatbelts. “Some authors have expressed concern that estimates of seat belt effects may be biased.1–4 In particular, some car occupants who survived a crash may falsely claim to police that they were belted in order to avoid a fine. If police sometimes believe these false claims, this would lead to exaggerated estimates of seat belt benefits if data from police crash reports were used.” This definitely raises an interesting point. How realistic even are these numbers? These inaccurate statistics are ultimately giving people even more of a false sense of security than they already possess, making driving even more difficult.

In many cases, wearing a seatbelt while driving is simply not worth the risk of getting into an accident. Especially in the cases of children or young people who may not have any help from seatbelts in the case of an accident, there is no point in wearing a seatbelt. One source really hit home with an excerpt about how seatbelts can very quickly become significantly more dangerous than they are safe if they are not used or manufactured correctly. “Defective seat belts can case catastrophic, often fatal, injuries.  These life-changing injuries can change an occupant’s life forever.  The most common injuries from seat belt failure are injuries to the heat and neck, chest injuries, and injuries to the arms or legs; these injuries can lead to permanent disabilities. If a seat belt fails in a head on collision, an occupant can be thrown into the windshield.  If a belt fails during a rollover, an occupant can be ejected from the vehicle and sustain spinal cord or neck injuries which can result in quadriplegia, paraplegia, paralysis or death.” I think that everybody who chooses to wear a seatbelt while they drive should read this before they buckled up, because I think it can really open up a lot of eyes.

The sooner that people begin to challenge the widely accepted notion that seatbelts are protective and safe at all times, the safer the roads will become. The truth is, wearing a seatbelt is oftentimes the catalyst for many horrific accidents that otherwise would not have occurred. This is a society that is full of people who want to feel safe. The ironic thing is that it is this infatuation with safety that is ultimately leading to them being placed further into harms way. It is easily one of the most counterintuitive things that I can imagine. If people want to feel safe, what they should do is read and educate themselves and form their own opinions that may differ from everybody else. Ultimately, people are afraid to challenge concepts when the alternative seems so absurd and incomprehensible to them, even if the initial concept does not make a whole lot of sense. Why would somebody want to lower their god-given inhibition while driving on the road, which is something that requires full concentration and coordination.

We know that we can’t put it past the government to exaggerate some statistics in order to push an agenda. To blindly follow and not question those numbers that seemingly so easily dismantle my thesis is to neglect the most important thing that one must do in order to understand my claim. We must be able to think outside the box and understand how something can seem so obvious and yet be so untrue. That includes being able to look past misleading statistics.

What should people value more? Becoming less likely to end up in a collision at all by not wearing a seatbelt, or preparing for this hypothetical collision, thus making it more likely to occur, in order to mitigate to the hypothetical damage from said hypothetical collision. Any logical or sound person would prioritize preventing the accident from occurring at all. I believe that a fascination with numbers and safety has skewed the average persons mindset when it comes to personal freedoms. If somebody feels safer without a seatbelt, I don’t think this concept should be seen as so preposterous. I think that challenging the status quo is something that is important to flourish in the coming years, and the more people that are willing to challenge what everybody believes, the more likely that change will come.


Robertson LS. Estimates of motor vehicle seat belt effectiveness and use: implications for occupant crash protection. Am J Public Health1976;66:859–64. et al.

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1 Response to Rebuttal Rewrite- Giants

  1. davidbdale says:

    Man, you’re blowing some serious hot air there, Giants! 🙂

    You did some nice work casting doubt on “the other guy’s” numbers, G, which usually means you don’t have the numbers yourself. You pretty much said as much. But what would be really helpful would be something to back up the claim that overconfidence behind the wheel leads to, I guess, overconfident driving, which leads to, accidents?

    It’s the heart of your argument. Got the goods?


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