If you’re a safe driver who’s never had a car accident, then you may be tempted not to wear a seat belt. You should realize that countless other motorists get behind the wheel while fatigued, distracted or intoxicated every day. Others recklessly operate their cars for no valid reason. A seat belt can save your life if you come in contact with any of these types of motorists.
Data compiled by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in between 1975 and 2000 shows that seat belts saved as many as 135,000 motorists’ lives. Many of those individuals who survived would likely have died had it not been for these restraints.
Even though the federal government’s data shows that seat belts save lives, the NHTSA notes that an estimated 25% of Americans fail to wear them. That same research shows that residents of other industrialized nations wear seat belts with much more regularity than Americans do.
One of the reasons why virtually every jurisdiction in the U.S. has a seat belt law on the books is because they reduce the risk of ejection. NHTSA data from 2006 showed that 75% of individuals ejected from vehicles ultimately died from their injuries. That same data showed that only 1% of those who were killed were wearing a seat belt at the time of their crash.
Motorists who wear seat belts tend to end up with less severe injuries than others. Modern restraints allow for the impact of a crash to be spread across the larger, more durable parts of an individual’s body. This can result in them suffering less severe injuries. NHTSA data shows that seat belt use alone reduces the chances that someone will suffer injuries in a crash by as much as 50%.
Even if you’re a safe driver, that doesn’t mean that those around you here in Manhattan Beach are the same. It’s in your best interest to wear a seat belt anytime that you get behind the wheel. While it may not prevent you from suffering any injuries if you’re involved in a serious crash, they’re likely to be far less severe than they otherwise would be had you not worn one.
A car accidents attorney can advise you of your ability to recover medical costs and other expenses that you’ve incurred as a result of your involvement in a crash here in California.