With the number of drivers going up every year, that means the number of car accidents is also going up. Wearing your seat belt is one of the best ways to stay safe if you find yourself in an accident. I was driving around Huntington Beach this weekend and while I was at a stop light, I looked over and noticed that the people in the car were not wearing their seat belts. Working for a Huntington Beach car accident lawyer, I know the importance of being safe and taking every precaution. I also know that most people, especially younger people like to live a little more on the edge. Today, I am going to go over why it is important to wear your seat belt. If you have been injured in an accident, please do not hesitate to contact a car accident attorney in our office. Consultations are free.
Car Accident Lawyer | Reasons for Seat Belt Use
Let’s break it down. Simply put, seat belts were installed for the safety of the driver and the passengers in a car. When you are traveling in a vehicle, you are moving at the same speed of the vehicle. Even when you feel like you are sitting still, you are still technically going, let’s say, 65mph on the freeway. This means that if you are in an accident going 65mph, you and your passengers will likely be thrown forward, backward, side-to-side with great force. Being thrown with this kind of force can leave to several severe injuries or even death. If you are not wearing your seatbelt, and you are in a serious accident, there is a higher chance of you going through the windshield.
Importance of Seatbelts
First of all, wearing a seatbelt is the law. I believe that the “Click-it-or-Ticket” slogan has been going around for a while. Which is true, if police officers see that you are not wearing your seatbelt, they can pull you over and give you a ticket.
- Wearing a seatbelt will keep you in the car;
- I have mentioned this a few times already however, it is an important point to make. When your car makes a sudden stop, you do not. Inertia keeps moving your forward, which means, if you are not wearing your seatbelt when your car crashes at 70mph, you will then go through the windshield at 70mph.
- It is the law;
- Depending on where you live, your first offense may be around $100. However, your second and third offenses can be upwards of $1000 or more.
- Insurance companies may not cover your claim;
- That’s right! If you are not wearing your seatbelt at the time of the accident, you may have to foot the bill. Insurance companies may see this as negligence on your part.
Consequences of Not Wearing a Seat Belt
The statistics that I found are a couple years old, but I believe they still hold a lot of weight. In 2015 of the 35,092 killed in car accidents, 48% of those were not wearing seat belts. On the other hand, seat belts saved an estimated 13,941 lives in 2015. The consequences of not wearing a seat belt are clear:
- Wearing a seat belt keeps you safe and secure in your vehicle. However, not wearing a seatbelt can result in being ejected from the car in the event of an accident;
- Airbags are not always enough;
- For instance, the force of an airbag can cause serious injuries if you are not wearing your seat belt.
Four Things to Know About Buckling Up
- The easiest and most effective way to protect yourself
- Seatbelts are the most effective defense against impaired, aggressive, and distracted drivers. Having your seatbelt on in an accident helps keep you safe and secure in your vehicle;
- Airbags were designed to work with seatbelts, not replace them
- Not wearing a seatbelt and hitting the airbag can cause severe injuries and possibly death;
- The lap and shoulder belts must be secure across the pelvis and rib cage. Reason being, these parts of the body are better able to withstand the force of a crash;
- Place the shoulder belt across the middle of your chest and away from your neck;
- The lap belt should rest across your hips and not your stomach;
- It is unsafe to put the shoulder belt behind your back or under your arm;
- The fit matters
- When buying a new car, check to see that the seatbelts are a good fit for you;
- Ask your dealer about seatbelt adjusters, which can help you get the best fit;
- Seatbelt extenders are a thing. If you need them, the dealer should be able to provide you with one;
Contact a Car Accident Attorney Today!
I know that it can seem annoying to wear a seatbelt properly, however, it is extremely important. It can literally mean the difference between life and death. The above reasons are enough to convince anyone to wear their seatbelt. However, working for a car accident lawyer, I know that people do not always follow the rules. Furthermore, it is important to remember that the rules are put into place for everyone’s safety.
If you are suffering from serious injuries due to an accident, please do not hesitate to contact us. Consultations with a car accident attorney in our office are free.