Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Public Speaking Course-Persuasive Speech

Safety Belts Specific Purpose: I will persuade my audience to agree that all states should enforce primary seat belt laws.

Central Idea: By enforcing primary seat belt laws, more citizens would be inclined to wear their seat belts causing for less lives lost in car accidents.

I. (Attention Getter)
When I was 11 years old, my family, all seven of us, took a road trip from Nebraska, where we lived, to Utah to visit some friends. We set out early in the morning to try and make the trip in one day. My mom, dad, 17-yr old sister and 16-yr old brother were take turns driving and napping while my 14 yr-old and 9 yr-old sisters and myself did anything we could to pass the time. Oh, and also, we had our golden retriever with us. Needless to say, it was a very crowded, and sometimes hostile, minivan.
While driving along the barren Wyoming desert, my 17-yr old sister, who was driving at the time, was distracted by something and began to merge onto the shoulder. The rapid bumping of the tread woke up those of us who were sleeping and caused all of us to shout at to her to “Look out!” This, and the loud noises of the tires, caused my sister to panic and over-correct the steering wheel. By doing so, the van veered back to the left too far for her to recover and we fishtailed before rolling multiple times. My mom, dad, 9 yr-old sister and 14 yr-old sister were all not wearing their seat belts; they were ejected from the vehicle during the chaos.
My mom, and little sister, Nikki, we thrown over a fence yards from the interstate and killed on impact.
My older 14 yr-old sister, Jamie, was thrown from the vehicle and then trapped under the van when it rolled over her and stopped. Her pelvis was crushed and she was facing severe physical and mental disabilities. However, after several surgeries to repair her pelvis and try to relieve the swelling in her brain she died after a week in the hospital due to heart failure.
My dad suffered from a ripped aorta. He was supposed to bleed out within minutes from being thrown from the vehicle. Somehow, he made it to the hospital where they treated his heart and his severe brain injuries as well. He was in a coma for over three weeks. They told us that he was not going to survive. Then they told us that when and if he woke up, he’d be severely mentally challenged. When he did wake up, they told us that he’d probably never regain his memory. By some miracle my father not only lived, but has regained his full memory back and his original brain function but, like the doctors said, he never should have made it to the ambulance, let alone to go on to live a full life.
As for the rest of us, my brother, sister and I, we had been wearing our seat belts. My brother, Derek, was able to jump out of the van as soon as it stopped and go around to assess everyone’s conditions and hold my fathers hand until the ambulance came. My sister, Shauna, was restrained by her seat belt and couldn't get herself free once the car stopped. She suffered some bruising and minor burns on her shoulder and clavicle areas from the seat belt when it restrained her. And me, I suffered from a dislocated shoulder due to wearing my seat belt improperly across my arm and a black eye from a high-speed projectile, which we assumed was a portable TV/VCR.
4 out of seven were not wearing their seat belts. And 3 out of the four died because of it.

II. (Reveal Topic) Seat belts saved me, Derek and Shauna. And seat belts very possibly could have saved my mom, Nikki, and Jamie. Occupant restraints are used to help couple the passenger to the car. They allow a passenger to slow down with the car rather than free flight into the car structure or into the air.

III. (Credibility Statement) Along with my personal experience with the harsh reality of the statistics, I have done a lot of research on the effectiveness of seat belts and the consequences for not using them.

IV. (Relevancy Statement) All of us drive in vehicles every day. We, along with our loved ones, are put in possibly dangerous situations each time we get into a car. By taking just two seconds to fasten the safety belts, we are not only protecting ourselves, but each of the passengers in the vehicle.

V. (Preview) The problem is that, for different reasons, many people are not wearing seat belts. The solution is simple; by enforcing primary seat belt laws, more citizens would be inclined to wear their seat belts causing for less lives lost in car accidents. Transition: The difference that a seat belt makes is the difference between life and death.

When used properly, lap/shoulder safety belts reduce the risk of fatal injury to car occupants by 45 percent and reduce the risk of moderate-to critical injury by 50 percent, and yet one out of four Americans still do not wear safety belts.
INTERNAL PREVIEW: Different people have different reasons for not wearing a seatbelt, but none of them follow the evidence and none justify putting their lives at risk.
A. (SUBPOINT) Seat belt laws have been enforced (in most states) since the 1980’s. And yet, we’ve all heard the excuses why NOT to wear them but that is all they are, excuses, and they are based on common misconception. 1. Belts are uncomfortable or inconvenient. 2. I'm not going far and I won't be going fast. 3. I'm a good driver, it won't happen to me. 4. Belts can hurt you in a crash. 5. Drivers in air bag-equipped vehicles don't need to wear safety belts. 6. I have a better chance of living if I’m thrown clear in a crash.
B. But these excuses are twisted at best. The Michigan State Police Dept and the National Safety Council proved these most common myths to be false. The Fact is, ("Safety belt myths," 2012) ("Safety belts myths," 2012) 1. Belts are uncomfortable or inconvenient— Initially people may find safety belts uncomfortable, confining or inconvenient simply because they're not used to wearing them. Those people who have made wearing safety belts a habit can testify that once their use does become a habit, there is no discomfort or inconvenience. 2. I'm not going far and I won't be going fast—Most crash deaths occur within 25 miles of home and at speeds of less than 40 miles per hour. 3. I'm a good driver, it won't happen to me—You may be a good driver but you cannot always control the other drivers on the road. Even if you are driving defensively, a drunk driver coming around the next curve may not be. Again, you never know what might happen. Buckle up every time -- every trip. 4. Belts can hurt you in a crash—Properly worn safety belts seldom cause injuries. If they do, the injuries are usually surface bruises and are generally less severe than would have been the case without any belt. Without the belts, you could have been thrown out of the vehicle and been injured severely. 5. Drivers in air bag-equipped vehicles don't need to wear safety belts—Lap/shoulder belts should always be used, even in a vehicle with air bags. Air bags are a supplemental form of protection and most are designed to deploy only in moderate-to severe frontal crashes. Also, air bags will not help in a side or rear impact or rollover crash. Air bags, combined with lap/shoulder belts, offer the best available protection for passenger vehicle occupants. 6. I have a better chance of living if I’m thrown clear in a crash — Being thrown safely clear in a crash is almost impossible. When you're thrown, you may be thrown through the windshield, scraped along the pavement, or even crushed by your own vehicle or another one. The idea of being thrown from a car and gently landing in a grassy area beside the road is pure fantasy. Your best bet in a crash is to stay inside the vehicle, securely held by your safety belt. 1. The Montana’s Department of Transportation explains it this way, “Consider this: A car going 40 mph would hit a tree with the same force as hitting the ground after falling off a 50 foot cliff. 2. “A person inside the car would hit the windshield with the same force as hitting the ground after a fall from a five-story building.” ("Three collisions in," 2011)
C. To truly understand the value of always wearing a safety belt, it's important to understand some of the dynamics of a crash. Every motor vehicle crash is in fact the sum total of three nearly simultaneous collisions: 1. Vehicle's Collision - This initial collision causes the car to buckle and bend as it hits something before coming to an abrupt stop. This occurs in approximately 1/10 of a second, or literally the blink of an eye. The factory-designed crumpling of the car's front end absorbs some of the force of the crash and cushions the rest of the vehicle from the force of impact. This enables the passenger compartment to stop more gradually than the front of the car 2. Human Collision - The second collision occurs as the car's occupants hit some part of the interior. At the moment of impact, unbelted occupants are still traveling at the vehicle's previous rate of speed. When the vehicle comes to a complete stop, these unbelted occupants slam into vehicle components such as the steering wheel or windshield. 1. There is also great potential for person-to-person impact. In a crash, occupants tend to move toward the point of impact, not away from it. 2. Unbelted rear-seat passengers who have become high-speed projectiles often strike people in the front seat. Many serious injuries result from the human collision be it within themselves or due to harsh contact with one another. 3. The Internal Collision - Although an occupant's body eventually comes to a complete stop, the internal organs still move forward. Quite suddenly, these organs smash against other organs or bones. This third collision often causes serious or fatal injuries.
D. Properly fastened seatbelts distribute the forces of rapid deceleration over the chest, hips and shoulders. 1. These are among the largest and strongest parts of a person's body and can thus endure greater levels of force. 2. In a crash, the seatbelt stretches slightly to slow your body down and lessens the distance your upper torso travels before stopping. 3. It also reduces the chance of the "human collision" phase of a motor vehicle crash. E. While it is true that sometimes the force of a crash is so great that nothing could have prevented the injuries. Studies have consistently shown that injuries in most serious crashes would have been much more severe had safety belts not been worn. 1. The Virginia Department of Transportation estimates that nearly 50 percent of those who died in traffic accidents in 2007 were not wearing their seat belts. ( 2. Forty-two percent of passenger vehicle occupants killed in 2007 were unbelted. A 2009 NHTSA study estimates more than 1,600 lives could be saved and 22,000 injuries prevented if seat belt use was 90 percent in every state. (
(INTERNAL SUMMARY – Overall, there are no benefits to not wearing a seatbelt but there are plenty of risks, greatest of all, death.)
TRANSITION: So how can you get that last 25% to wear seat belts?

II. (MP 2) Enforce primary seat belt laws and implement enhanced enforcement programs. More citizens would be inclined to wear their seat belts causing for less lives lost in car accidents.
(INTERNAL PREVIEW: Seat belts save lives. States that enforce primary seat belt laws have higher percentages of citizens that wear seatbelts.)
A. Primary enforcement laws allow police officers to pull over drivers and issue tickets just because the drivers—or their passengers— aren’t wearing seat belts. Secondary enforcement laws only allow police officers to issue tickets for seat belt violations if drivers have already been pulled over for another offense. 1. According to the National Safety Council, Secondary enforcement significantly limits the ability of officers to enforce seat belt laws. 2. 31 states plus the District of Columbia have primary enforcement of seat belt laws, meaning police can stop vehicles and write citations for failure to buckle up. 3. 18 states have secondary enforcement, meaning police can issue a seat belt citation only after a vehicle is stopped for another reason. 4. Seat belt use is 13 percent higher in states with primary enforcement (88 percent) than in states with secondary enforcement (75 percent). (
B. “Enhanced enforcement” programs seek to better support seat belt laws by either increasing the average number of citations each officer issues or by increasing the number of officers on patrol. These measures are supported by publicity campaigns, like the successful “Click It or Ticket” initiative. 1. In North Carolina and across America, millions of deaths and injuries occur because people don't use safety belts and child passenger safety seats. Research shows that appeals to "do the right thing" don't work for the people who don't use belts. What gets them to buckle up is high visibility enforcement. That means checkpoints and traffic tickets for drivers not using belts. 2. Research has shown that enhanced enforcement programs increase seat belt use by a average of 16 percent. 3. North Carolina's "Click it or Ticket" program began in 1993 to increase seat belt and child safety use rates through stepped-up enforcement of the state's seat belt law. 4. Just last September; the police of Charlotte-Mecklenburg County issued 75 citations in just three nighttime seat belt checkpoint operations in Charlotte.
C. (SUBPOINT) According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, seat belts are the single-most effective traffic safety device for preventing death and injury on the highway. Wearing a seat belt can reduce the risk of crash injuries by 50 percent. ( 1. Seat belts dramatically reduce risk of death and serious injury. Among drivers and front-seat passengers, seat belts reduce the risk of death by 45%, and cut the risk of serious injury by 50%. ( ( 2. 2. Seat belts save thousands of lives each year, and increasing use would save thousands more. Seat belts saved almost 13,000 lives in 2009. If all drivers and passengers had worn seat belts that year, almost 4,000 more people would be alive today. 3. 3. A 2009 agency study showed that more than 1,600 lives could be saved and 22,000 injuries prevented if seat belts were used by 90 percent of those on the highways in every state. ( 4. 4. Seat belts saved more than 75,000 lives from 2004 to 2008, according to the federal agency. ( 5. 5. Safety belts could save an additional 1,600 lives and prevent an additional 22,000 injuries each year if usage was 90% in every state.
INTERNAL SUMMARY – Primary Enforcement Seat Belt Laws and initiatives such as the Click-it or Ticket program are the only way to get those percentages to come up.
TRANSITION: No one can afford to not take two seconds and click in his or her seat belt. CONCLUSION
I. (Summary Statement) 1 out of 4 people is still too many. A deadly car wreck can happen whether you’re going 10 miles an hour or 80, just around the block or across the country, riding in the back seat or driving. We can’t control the situations we are put in, but we do control what we do to protect the ones we love and ourselves. Please, don’t be fooled by the myths and don’t ever think that it couldn’t happen to you because it can.
II. (Memorable Closing Statement) It happened to me, and it killed those that I love. I am here today because I put my seat belt on. And I am here speaking for those who can’t because for them, they learned their lesson too late. Wear your seatbelts, every time, and make it home to your families.

75 tickets given at charlotte seat belt checks. (2012, October 05). Charlotte Observer. Retrieved from Dewey-Kollen, J. (2004, April). National seat belt enforcement mobilization. Law & Order, 52(4), Retrieved from Hostetler, K. (2012, October 21). Candlelight vigil raises awareness on seatbelt safety. ABC 13 News. Retrieved from Planek, T. (2004). Proceedings from a symposium on high visibility enforcement - building sustained safety belt use. Journal of Safety Research Special Issue, 35(2), 131-244. Retrieved from Policy impact: Seat belts. (2012, January 20). Retrieved from Reinartz, J. (2012, October 26). Seat-belt use is simply about education. Austin Post. Retrieved from Safety belt myths and facts. (2012). Retrieved from,4643,7-123-1593_3504_22774-13689--,00.html Seat belts: Every person, every seat, every trip. (2011, January 04). Retrieved from Safety belts myths and facts. (2012). Retrieved from Belts Myths and Facts.pdf Three collisions in a crash. (2011, April 18). Retrieved from Use and maintenance of required safety equipment. (2011). Retrieved from

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