At Sklare Law Group, we handle accident claims all the time. That means every day we speak with people who have been severely injured in motor vehicle accidents. Our clients are living with life-altering injuries, and we fight passionately to pursue maximum compensation on their behalves.
For many people involved in accidents, the severity of their injuries are affected by the use of a seat belt. Please read below to learn more.
It Remains Vitally Important to Wear Your Seat Belt
Seat belts are one of the most important safety devices in your vehicle. When you buckle up, you reduce the risk of a fatal injury in an accident by half. The three-point seat belt system (where a strap lays across your torso and your lap) was invented in 1959, which is relatively recent in American history. It was invented by an engineer for Volvo named Nils Bohlin.
This ingenious safety device feels so commonplace, especially in an age of smart technology and driving automation. But the seat belt remains an essential and time-tested way to reduce the severity of injuries in the event of an accident.
Currently, seat belt compliance sits at 90 percent nationwide, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. That means 1 in 10 Americans are not using their seat belts. The NHTSA wants to remind all motorists of the importance of seat belt use and to dispel the following misconceptions:
- Being in a larger vehicle does not mean you are safer, and it certainly doesn't mean you can skip wearing a seat belt. According to the NHTSA, 61 percent of pickup truck occupants who were killed in accidents in 2016 were not wearing seat belts at the time of the crash. Comparatively, 42 percent of passenger car occupants who were killed in accidents were not buckled up. In any size vehicle, not wearing a seat belt can be a deadly mistake.
- Sitting in the back seat does not mean it's okay to remain unbuckled. This old myth seems to have persisted through the decades. It may be especially hard to shake because older vehicles did not have seat belts in back, which continues to falsely legitimize this misconception. According to the NHTSA's 2016 statistics, 47 percent of front-seat occupants killed in crashes that year were not wearing seat belts, and 57 percent of back-seat occupants killed in accidents were not wearing seat belts. Buckle up no matter where you are sitting in the car.
- It is not less dangerous to drive in rural areas and on rural roads. Do most of your driving on country roads? Don't make the mistake of thinking this means you can skip wearing your seat belt. The NHTSA says that in 2016 there were 13,732 people killed in crashes in rural areas, and 9,366 deaths in crashes in urban centers. In the deadly rural accidents, 49 percent of the people killed were not wearing seat belts.
Wearing a seat belt does make a difference. No one plans to get in an accident, but thousands of Americans are killed in crashes each year. When the unexpected occurs, you want to have all the safety devices available engaged and working. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says 15,000 lives were saved by seat belts in 2016. If 100 percent of people involved in accidents had been wearing seat belts, the NHTSA says 2,500 more lives could have been spared.
Were You Injured in an Accident in or around Chicago?
If you or a loved one was injured in a car crash in Chicago, Cicero, Oak Park, Berwyn or any of the surrounding areas, please call our law firm to find out if we can help you pursue maximum compensation for you injuries. For your free case review, please call Sklare Law Group at 312-263-0771.