Legal Guide

Home > Legal Guide

Seatbelts Save More Than a Traffic Ticket

The S.E. Farris Law Firm, car accident lawyers in Missouri, know that safety always comes first when driving a vehicle. They have dealt with many car accident law cases and have defended victims firsthand. Attorney Spencer Farris advices readers to pay attention to this infographic and hopefully, learn that seat-belt safety is not a light issue.

Does buckling up a seatbelt actually reduce the risk of fatality in a vehicle crash? Data released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that numerous fatalities which occurred between the years of 2001 and 2010 could have been avoided if the vehicle occupants had chosen to wear appropriate safety restraints. In 2010, over 10,000 fatalities occurred during vehicle collisions where occupants were not wearing safety belts. The data reveals that 3, 391 of those lives would not have been lost if the occupants had worn their safety belts. Of those 3,391 fatalities, 50 were children under the age of five who were not restrained in a child safety seat or other safety restraint. Young children cannot make the decision themselves about whether or not to wear a safety device. But young adults can make that decision, and the data reveals that unfortunately many are choosing not to wear a seat belt.

The age groups that are least likely to utilize a safety restraint are young adults age 21 to 34. Next in line are teenagers age 16 to 20 and young adults age 35 to 44. The failure to wear a safety restraint or seat belt seems to fall almost equally between male and female occupants. States are using data such as this to structure seat belt laws in order to lower the incidents of fatalities.

Seating arrangements, according to this infographic, do not make a difference if the person is not wearing safety belts. Data concluded that 50% fatalities occurred to passengers in the front seat, while 63% fatalities occurred in the back seat.

Many states are now considered first enforcement states, meaning that law enforcement officers are authorized to stop vehicles when they observe seat belt violations. Some of these states are Texas, California, and Washington. Other states are considered secondary enforcement states. Example of these states are Nevada, Utah, and Arizona. This means that law enforcement officers are not authorized to stop vehicles simply for seat belt violations. The officer must stop the vehicle for a vehicle infraction before they are allowed to issue traffic citations for seat belt infractions. In these states, highway departments have ramped up advertising campaigns to publicize the risks of riding in a vehicle without a seat belt in place. And these efforts are paying off, as the percentage of occupants wearing seat belts currently stands at 85% compliance. One state that has no law regarding vehicle safety restraints is New Hampshire.

The data provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety proves that lives are saved when vehicle occupants choose to wear a restraint belt. The data reported that 12,546 lives over the age of 5 and 303 lives under the age of 5 were saved by seat-belts. 

This infographic is brought to you by the St. Louis personal injury lawyers, The S.E. Farris Law Firm. 

comments powered by Disqus