Seat belts save lives. While that is common knowledge, a group of Science Hill students are working to ensure their peers are buckling up every time they get in a car.
Members of Science Hill’s HOSA (Health Occupation Students of America) are participating in Battle of the Belts, a state-wide friendly seat belt competition for Tennessee high schools that is designed to reduce motor vehicle injuries and fatalities by increasing seat belt use. It is a competition hosted by the Tennessee Department of Health.
The group has held two unannounced on-campus seat belt checks as students entered campus, with a third date approaching. They have also been educating their peers with pamphlets and by using other educational plans, like bringing in the seat belt convincer. The seat belt convincer allows a rider to safely experience the force generated during a 5-10 miles per hour crash. The force shows how effective a seat belt can be in keeping a person in their seat and reducing movement.
Science Hill Health Science teacher and HOSA advisor Kayla Clawson is overseeing the students participating in the Battle of the Belts.
“We can discuss the consequences of not wearing a seat belt with our students over and over again, but until they get the simulation activity of the convincer, they don’t really understand how real it is,” Clawson said. “Students are more apt to believe things when they have a first-hand experience. My students and I are hopeful that this experience makes a difference in the way students view seat belt safety.”
Other Career and Technical Education Pathways that participated in the seat belt convincer included Law, Public Safety, Corrections, and Security, and Automotive Services. Each class took a different approach to teaching their students about seat belt safety.
No matter the approach, Science Hill senior and HOSA President Myles King, said that he and his classmates are taking the challenge very seriously.
“It’s very important,” King said about wearing seat belts. “It can save lives and prevent you from being thrown out of your car, preventing further injuries during a crash. Our goal is to get people to realize that the more they wear their seat belt, the safer they will be.”
Science Hill sophomore Lauryn Banner took a turn on the seat belt convincer and admitted that she was surprised after the impact after going just a few miles per hour.
“I was really kind of shocked when I hit the end of the seat belt convincer,” Banner said. “It was very jolting as you were just shot forward, I couldn’t imagine it at 50 miles per hour. That would be really bad if I didn’t wear my seat belt.”