Seatbelt saved my life, twice - that's food for thought today

By Erik Nilsson ( China Daily ) Updated: 2013-01-30 10:51:21

That's not because I've suddenly realized the virtues of seatbelts to which I'd avowed after the accidents, without which, I doubt I would have survived.

Seatbelt saved my life, twice - that's food for thought today

Fictional truth to power 

Seatbelt saved my life, twice - that's food for thought today

Emotional appeal 

Seatbelt saved my life, twice - that's food for thought today

Meet Barbie's much older Chinese sisters 

Actually, I realize I'd forgotten that pledge and the collisions' trauma in general - something that astonishes me upon re-visitation.

Rather, it's because the taxi drivers have been demanding I buckle up in the past few days because of new seatbelt law enforcement.

This new rule - or, at least the execution of old laws - has resuscitated memories of this crash when I was 16.

It also forces me to recall when I mistook a two-way for a four-way stop, after dropping off at work my girlfriend - now my wife and mother to our daughter - weeks before leaving for China.

The airbag punched me in the face, and fluid from the car's guts slapped my eyes. My Saturn's front was divided into a fraction of its former form.

I stepped out dazed and terrified but with only a goose egg and whiplash.

It's extremely unlikely I would have survived being ricocheted against that car going 105 km/h if I hadn't been wearing my seatbelt.

So, like when I was a teen, I emerged alive from that crinkled shell of a car.

Yet, when we came to China, both my wife and I, from day one, got used to the unbuckled culture. And, aside from vehicles, we enjoyed the freeriding, unrestrained character of the country.

We still do.

But, ultimately, and especially since our 16-month-old daughter often rides in cabs with us, I'm happy to see this new law for her, and for everyone, including myself.

I reset everything I knew when I arrived here to adapt.

But I realize I'd forgotten some vital lessons I've learned back home that are worth remembering.

And that's steering me in a new direction.

After all, if I hadn't been wearing my seatbelt at those two moments - which were as unexpected as any might be - I likely wouldn't have lived to come to China to remember why I used to feel so adamantly about wearing it in the first place.

Previous Page 1 2 Next Page

Editor's Picks
Hot words

Most Popular