A classmate recently had a roll-over accident and sent out a mass e-mail reminding people to wear their seatbelts with pictures of his car.
I prefer to remember a couple of patients. It would start with a funny feeling, and then the pager would go off; a text page. Level 1, 24-yo unbelted ejected driver high-speed MVA, GCS 3. Then some vitals, unstable. His arrival is busy, scrubs, x-ray lead, and gowns blur around him, while I remember his head, bright red from across the room. His scalp is bleeding. His nose is bleeding. His ears are bleeding. He bleeds around his intubation. The blood pools in the antihelical fossa of his ear as it drains out of the canal. Blood, blood, blood. We take a stapler to the scalp, which is the trauma way of treating a minor injury. One can only imagine what his brain looks like. I clean the blood from his nose for a while, then stop. There are bigger problems.
Or, in rehab, another young man, recovering from an unbelted ejection from his car. He had been on his way home from picking up his brother upon return from Iraq. It's not hard to imagine, and indeed forgive, the idea of stopping for a few beers. Now, months after his injury, he can't speak, walk, or remember three objects you tell him to remember for more than five minutes.
So yes, wear your seatbelt. Put your children in their car seats. All the king's horses, all the king's men.