A Cautionary Tale

Tami Martin of Florida is a very brave young woman indeed. In a recent new news interview, she came forward to explain how she became a paraplegic after a minor traffic accident in which the operational speed was 30 miles per hour. What was her crime? One I am afraid I among many others out there in blog land am guilty of; reclining in the passenger seat with feet on the dashboard and seat belt buckled. Essentially, the seat belt works against you, causing severe injuries.

The maker of the van her mother was driving happened to be a Ford, but as Tami told the news, many other (if not all) manufacturers of vans and SUVs fail to notify riders that this is a potentially hazardous position. Advertising themselves as “traveling hotels”, it’s easy to see how a moniker like that could be adversely affected by such a claim. Still, who really should care about that in light of the serious injury that can befall an unsuspecting passenger?

Tami received a multi-million dollar settlement for her injuries, which have paralyzed her from the neck down. She, in a gesture to change things and make sure no other person is so terribly injured, offered half of her settlement to Ford if they would promise to install warning stickers on all of the vans they manufacture.

Ford turned her down and demanded an appeal, refusing to accept responsibility for failure to comply with safety regulations. Well, in all fairness, maybe there are no safety regulations against this yet, but that doesn’t mean that there shouldn’t be.

Have YOU ever traveled in your car with your seat-belt fastened and your feet up on the dashboard? Did YOU have any idea that it could be so very dangerous? Please share.

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About Marjorie Dorfman

Marjorie Dorfman is a freelance writer and former teacher originally from Brooklyn, New York. A graduate of New York University School of Education, she now lives in Doylestown, PA, with quite a few cats that keep her on her toes at all times. Originally a writer of ghostly and horror fiction, she has branched out into the world of humorous non-fiction writing in the last decade. Many of her stories have been published in various small presses throughout the country during the last twenty years. Her book of stories, "Tales For A Dark And Rainy Night", reflects her love and respect for the horror and ghost genre.