The biggest misconception about a car crash? That there’s only one collision.
There actually are three, and the last two directly affect your body and brain, not your vehicle, often with deadly consequences.
Capt. Ronnie Hampton, troop commander of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol Troop F, based in Ardmore, wanted people to realize what can happen in a crash if they don’t wear their seatbelts. So he turned to mass communication students at East Central University for some assistance.
“Our goal is to get people wearing their seatbelts,” he said.
In a crash, for example, the second collision occurs when an unrestrained person, still moving forward from the first collision, hits the steering wheel or windshield. The third collision is the front of the brain hitting the front of the skull, then bouncing to the back of the skull. The real damage comes when the brain twists on its axis.
Since seatbelts reduce the odds of dying in a crash by 65 percent, Hampton said he started looking at ways to educate the public why they should use them along with air bags.
“We had a lot of (educational) videos, but they were outdated. Most were black and white and had cars from the 1970s.”
Hampton approached ECU about making a new video because he knew former ECU Vice President Dr. Steve Turner through the Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training (CLEET) in Ada. That’s how Hampton met Chris Shofner, ECU assistant professor of mass communication, who guided 12 students through the project last summer.
The result – the 18-minute video Anatomy of a Crash makes a powerful case for fastening seatbelts.
“Right now, we want to get it out and get it seen by as many people as possible,” Hampton said. “Through education and enforcement, we hope to increase seatbelt usage.”