It was a cold snowy evening in November. Sailor was sleeping in his stroller while LV and I were finishing up the evening chores when one of our friends came into the barn. He didn't waste a lot of time on small talk before he asked if we had heard about the accident.
We hadn't heard anything and he proceeded to tell us about a van load of Amish had been going home from a frolic and had a collision with a big truck. A baby that was Sailors age had been ejected and died, everyone was treated for injuries and the baby's father was in critical condition.
After he left LV and I discussed the accident. If seat belts and a car seat would have been used there was a huge possibility that no one would have been injured but, none of the Amish used seat belts. We always used a car seat for Sailor but we never wore seat belts either. It was considered to be something only worldly people did, not quite as bad as touching a steering wheel but still not something that was done.
That accident was the turning point for our family and from that day being inside a moving vehicle meant seat belts were being used. Unfortunately for the family who lost their little baby girl it was too late to do anything. The father was paralyzed from his neck down and needed a breathing machine to be able to breathe. After spending a lot of time in the hospital he was finally released after the church made provisions to allow them to have electricity for his breathing needs and later a voice activated computer so he could still write letters. He lived like that for eleven years and just recently passed away.
Because of his huge hospital bill the Somerset County Amish finally agreed to have a benefit auction to raise money to pay it. Up until that point they had never been allowed.
I'm not personally familiar with every Amish community but with all the ones I am I only know of one family that uses seat belts when traveling. Some taxi drivers are wisely starting to insist on their use but they are then usually placed on the obnoxious driver list and not hired as often.