Summer is a wonderful time for long road trips and traveling together as a family. Several families get together, rent large vehicles such as vans, and travel in groups. While these trips can be a lot of fun, they can also be extremely dangerous. In the event of a crash, those who are buckled up tend to be much more protected than those who are not. A vehicle occupant who has not been buckled in faces the risk of getting ejected or thrown out. Those who get ejected tend to suffer catastrophic injuries or even fatalities.
According to the National Safety Council (NSC), seatbelt use has been increasing nationwide and averages 88 percent. But, there are still groups that are less likely to wear seatbelts including teens, commercial drivers, pickup truck drivers, and nighttime drivers. Research has repeatedly shown that seatbelts are the single most effective traffic safety device for preventing death and injury.
Wearing a seatbelt can reduce the risk of crash injuries by 50 percent. Between 2004 and 2008, seatbelts saved more than 75,000 lives. A study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that more than 1,600 lives could be saved and 22,000 injuries prevented if seatbelt use were 90 percent in every state. Also, 49 states and the District of Columbia have mandatory seatbelt laws, with the exception of New Hampshire.
There is no question that seatbelts save lives. If you are taking a road trip this summer, please make sure that everyone in your vehicle is buckled up. If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident caused by someone else’s negligence, call Caputo & Van Der Walde LLP at (800) 900-0863 for a free, comprehensive, and confidential consultation.