Whenever I stop and think about seatbelts (which, admittedly, is rare), I think of two things:
1. The tiny, extremely excitable male nurse who taught a court-mandated seatbelt safety class I took when I was 16. “You are sitting in the finest trauma center in Oregon, folks,” he would begin, darting menacingly around the room before flashing an x-ray of someone whose neck looked like a horseshoe. “WE CANNOT FIX THIS, PEOPLE!!!” he’d shout. “WE CANNOT FIX THIS!!!!” he shouts in my ear to this day.
2. The way bodies look after a car accident, especially if they’ve been ejected from a vehicle. This is something I saw sometimes when I was a general-assignment reporter. My brain trots these images out all the damn time; they made a pretty strong impression.
Yeah, I guess seatbelts are vaguely uncomfy. But grown-ups take very basic safety precautions. Grown-ups wear bike helmets; grown-ups wear life jackets when they go boating. If nothing else, they do these things to hopefully spare everyone they know from feeling super sad and angry when they die in a preventable way.