OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Seat belts save lives. You hear that message often. For one man, it meant a second chance at life.
Now he's spreading his message in hopes that one quick decision to click it, can save many others.
“It was a really rainy day, so it was just kind of bad weather day and really wet outside and we're driving northbound on Bob Boozer and I started hydroplaning and lost control of my car and we slid sideways into a guardrail, basically folded my car in half,” said Aaron Gosch. Looking at him now you wouldn't know four years ago he was in a car crash that could have put the brakes on his goal.
Gosch is training to be an Omaha firefighter. "So, it's always kind of been a dream of mine since I was a kid,” he said. A dream he says might not have happened if he wasn't wearing his seat belt that day. A decision he believes saved his life. “There could have been injuries 10 times as bad as I had but since I was able to stay in my seat it came down to cuts and bruises for me,” said Gosch.
In Nebraska the law requires people riding in the front seat to buckle up. But if you are over 18 and sitting in the back, the law doesn't require you to do the same.
Gosch is now a big advocate for seat belt use, he urges you to buckle up, no matter where you sit in the car. “Every time I drive I put my seat belt on right away, make sure all my friends have their seat belts on and it definitely kinda changes your perspective when something tragic like that happens,” he said.
Tragedies law enforcement see all too often, and in many cases say, a seat belt could have saved a life. “We see accidents quite frequently and the more severe ones are the ones where people are not seat belted in. That vehicle is moving forward at a high rate of speed and suddenly stops and that person if they're not seat belted in then they're moving forward at that same speed,” said Sgt. Bryce Triplett with Nebraska State Patrol.
Currently 28 states enforce rear seat belt use and in those states 85% of adult backseat passengers buckle up according to the National Traffic Highway Safety Administration. 18 of those states include rear seat as primary enforcement.
Eric Koeppe, president and CEO of the National Safety Council Nebraska says making seat belt use in Nebraska a primary offense is the best way to get more people to buckle up. “We know and statistics show seat belt usage would go up if we had primary enforcement of our seat belt laws. I know there's been bills introduced in most recent years and I’m hoping that there's a bill introduced, and we can get it passed this year,” he said.
Until then, Gosch will keep training for a job he's dreamed of, but he's dreading any crash call a seatbelt could prevent. “Being able to help people, especially people that have been through the same situations that I’ve been in in my life, being that person for other people would just feel amazing,” said Gosch.