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How Does Seat Belt Use Affect Car Accident Injuries?

Posted on in Car Accident

Arlington Heights car accident lawyer

There are a wide variety of risky driving behaviors that can result in car accidents, including speeding, driving under the influence, and distracted driving. In many cases, serious injuries can be avoided by proper seat belt use. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), wearing a seat belt properly is one of the single most effective things you can do to protect your safety in the event of a crash. A simple act of prevention can go a long way, and seat belts can protect against injuries and may even save a life in an automobile accident. However, serious injuries can occur even when a person is wearing a seat belt, and car accident victims should work with an attorney to determine their legal options for recovering compensation from a driver who was at fault for a collision.

Proper Seat Belt Use Defined

Statistics in recent years have shown that out of over 37,000 people who were killed in car crashes, 47 percent of them were not restrained by seat belts. Within the span of a single year, related studies showed that seat belts were responsible for saving nearly 15,000 lives, and over 2,500 more lives could have been saved if the drivers had been wearing their seat belts. What exactly is proper seat belt use, and how do you know if you are buckling up safely? Here are some general guidelines every motorist should follow:

  • The shoulder belt should always rest across the center of your chest, and never over your neck, behind your back, or under your arm.

  • The lap belt should sit securely across your pelvis; this means across your hips, not over your stomach.

  • Adjust your seat and limit its recline position to lessen the gap between your shoulder and the belt.

  • Doctors recommend that pregnant women always buckle up. 

Airbags and Seat Belts Work Together

It is important to understand that while airbags can enhance the safety of drivers and passengers, they are not a replacement for seat belts. Even if your vehicle has airbags, the NHTSA still stresses the necessity of wearing a seat belt correctly. Should you experience a crash without a belt, you risk being completely ejected from the vehicle, hitting the interior, or harming other passengers, and in these cases, the vehicle’s airbags may worsen your injuries. In some cases, airbag deployment without the use of a seat belt is fatal. The mere force of the impact with an airbag is enough to cause death when you are not restrained. Doctors recommend that every driver leave his or her vehicle’s airbag disabling switch turned ON at all times, regardless of the circumstances.

Contact a Schaumburg Personal Injury Lawyer

Studies have shown that seat belts save lives in the event of a car accident. Although vehicle occupants can still sustain injuries with proper seat belt use, they are likely to be less severe when compared to not wearing one at all. If you have been involved in a vehicle collision and are concerned about the long-term effects of the injuries you have suffered, it is vital to speak with a knowledgeable Rolling Meadows car accident attorney. You may be entitled to compensation if the accident was caused by someone else’s negligent driving or if you were injured by a defective seat belt, airbag, or other vehicle equipment. Call Newland & Newland LLP today at 847-797-8000 and schedule a free phone consultation.

 

Sources:

https://www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/seat-belts

https://www.nhtsa.gov/equipment/air-bags

 

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