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Correlation Between Seatbelt use and Injury / Fatality Reduction
In this fast paced and ever changing society we live in it is not uncommon to fall short of the everyday safety precautions needed to prevent fatal accidents. Wearing a seatbelt, as trivial as it may seem, can make the difference between life and death in a car crash. Pursuant to Illinois law, drivers and front seat passengers of motor vehicle that operate on a street or highway are required to wear a properly adjusted seatbelt. This law was expanded in 2012 to include a seatbelt requirement for back seat passengers as well. Unfortunately, the Chicago auto accident attorneys of Zneimer & Zneimer, P.C. know all too well that motorists often fail to abide by this law, thereby resulting in injury or death, which may have been otherwise preventable through proper seatbelt use.
Members of The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) report that seatbelts are the number one defense against motor vehicle injuries and fatalities. Seatbelts restrain vehicle occupants from the extreme force experienced during a vehicular collision. When seatbelts are properly worn, NTSB studies show that only 1% of passengers wearing seatbelts are ejected from their car during an auto accident; this is compared to a 22% ejection rate for unrestrained occupants. Further, NTSB studies show that ejection from a vehicle during an accident results in death approximately 75% of the time.
Statistically, not only are seatbelts viewed as an important safety device, but failure to use a seat belt can also suggests a motorist’s involvement in high-risk behaviors, such as speeding and impaired driving. You may be asking yourself, ‘What is the correlation between seatbelt safety and high risk behavior?’ The NTSB’s research indicates that 25% of motor vehicle occupants nationwide do not use seatbelts. Of this 25%, such unrestrained motorists, “tend to exhibit multiple high-risk behaviors and are more frequently involved in crashes.”
In an attempt to reduce seatbelt fatalities, many states have enacted seatbelt laws that allow police officers to execute a traffic stop and cite unbelted vehicle occupants without having any other reason for the traffic stop. This is commonly referred to as a primary offense, as opposed to a secondary offense, which requires an additional violation to warrant a valid traffic stop. Illinois categorizes seatbelt use as a primary offense. The accident attorneys of Zneimer & Zneimer, P.C. recognize the importance of this regulation in preventing injury and fatality through increased seat belt use.
Briefly worded, the use of seatbelts can save lives in the event of an auto accident. The sheer volume of statistical data confirming this notion speaks for itself. If you or someone you know are not practicing seatbelt safety, our injury attorneys discourage the continuance of such risky behavior.
If an insurance company is refusing compensation for injuries sustained in an auto accident due to lack of seatbelt use, contact an accident attorney. Pursuant to Illinois law, failure to use a seatbelt does not constitute a motorist’s negligence. Our personal injury attorneys will assist in dealing with insurance companies. We represent clients residing in Chicago, and surrounding Illinois suburbs. For a Free Personal Injury Consultation, contact Zneimer & Zneimer, P.C. today at 773-516-4100, or online at our website.