Every year, there is news about the latest and greatest safety features that are being implemented in new automobile designs and constructions. Features like side curtain air bags, automatic emergency braking, blind spot detection, and crumple zones are all helpful in preventing collisions or limiting injuries in the event that a crash happens, but these new features are not the most important one when it comes to keeping occupants safe.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, seat belts are the most effective way to save lives and reduce injuries in car accidents in the country.
When surveyed, the majority of American drivers acknowledge that seat belts save lives and that seat belt use is important, but yet usage remains lower than desirable among several key groups. In 2012, more than 2.2 million adults were treated in emergency rooms due to injuries sustained in automobile collisions and motor vehicle crashes continue to be the leading cause of death among Americans ages 1-54. Many who were injured or killed were not using a seat belt at the time of their accident.
The CDC estimates that seat belts reduce the risk of serious injury or death in the event of a crash by half, a significant difference when the fact that approximately 55 percent of all teens who were killed in 2012 in car accidents were not wearing seat belts. Roughly half of those kids may have been saved had they chosen to buckle up before they drove.
Seat belt usage among teenagers and younger adults continues to be lower than desired. In fact, drivers ages 18-34 were less likely to wear a seat belt than those who were aged 35 or older in a 2012 study. Further, the CDC determined that men are approximately 10 percent less likely than women to use a seat belt and that seat belt usage is roughly nine percent lower in rural areas (78 percent usage) than in urban and suburban areas (87 percent usage).
Seat belt usage is a problem in the Phoenix area as well and the Arizona Department of Public Safety has taken steps to educate the public as a result. According to the Arizona Department of Public Safety, someone is killed in the state every hour in a traffic accident because that driver or passenger was not using a seat belt. Not only are adults at risk but studies show that if a driver is unbuckled, then there is a 70 percent chance that a child in that driver’s car likewise will not be restrained, placing both the driver and the child at risk of injuries or death of a collision takes place.
When you drive, the best thing you can do is to always use your seat belt and to make sure that others in your vehicle do so as well. However, even if you do buckle up, you may still be hurt if a crash happens and you may need to obtain help from a doctor as a result.
If a collision in Maricopa County left you injured or claimed the life of someone you love, call the personal injury attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. today and let us offer you a free, no-obligation case consultation regarding your rights. We are standing by 24 hours a day, seven days a week to take your call toll free at (855) PHX-LAWYER or locally at (602) 819-5191 and if we represent you, we will never charge you a fee unless we make a recovery on your behalf.
Prior Blog Entry:
Dog Bites a Leading Cause of Homeowner Insurance Claims, Phoenix Injury Lawyer Blog, published September 18, 2015.