The Role of Seat Belts in Car Accidents
The pandemic has been a challenge for people all across the country. One unfortunate reaction to this challenge has been an uptick in dangerous driving behaviors. These behaviors include impaired driving, speeding, and the failure to properly use seat belts while driving or riding in a motor vehicle.
The NHTSA Data on Seat Belt Use
When seat belts first became required equipment in cars and trucks in America, some were reluctant to use them. There were stories of people trapped by their seat belts after car crashes. After many years, the statistics are very clear. Seat belt use saves lives.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 90.3 percent of vehicle occupants use their seat belts. Of the more than 22,000 people killed in passenger vehicles in 2019, 47 percent were not properly belted. That means wearing a seat belt reduces the risk of fatal injury by around 45 percent.
Air Bags and Seat Belts Work Together
Now that most cars on the road have airbags for the driver and front passenger, some people might wonder if seat belts are still important. The truth is that airbags are designed to complement seat belts, not replace them.
Airbag injuries are much more common for unbelted drivers and passengers than belted ones. The seat belt slows you down enough to better withstand the impact of an expanding airbag.
Ejection From the Vehicle
Seat belts do an incredible job of preventing one of the most deadly possibilities in a crash. Being ejected out of the vehicle during a crash or rollover almost always results in a fatality.
Modern vehicles are far better at providing safety in a crash than they used to be. All that safety technology does you no good if you are no longer in the vehicle. For children and adults, buckling up reduces the likelihood of ejection.
Buying a Car With the Right Seat-Belt Fit
Some cars fit us better than others. If you are looking for a new or used vehicle, you may want to consider whether the seat belts fit properly on you and your family.
Uncomfortable seat belts may discourage proper use. A seat belt that does not hit you in the right places (even after adjustment) is less likely to protect you from harm in a crash. Naturally, a broken or worn seat belt should be replaced before driving a vehicle.
Call Us for Help after a Car or Truck Accident
At Ted B. Lyon & Associates in Dallas, we have many years of experience protecting auto accident victims. If you have been injured in a car or truck accident, call our attorneys at 866-503-4864 or contact us online.
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