Drivers can take a few easy actions while driving to reduce the risk of injury or death in an Arizona car crash. Sometimes it’s just as easy is remembering to wear your seat belt and making sure that your kids do the same.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently reported that some of the old and true methods of safety are still more significant than the advancements of technology in new cars. Our Phoenix personal injury lawyers agree that buckling up is one of the biggest safety factors in the event of a collision. In 2009, more than 12,700 lives were spared when people took the time to put on their seat belts. Tragically, research shows that around 3700 lives of children ages 4 and above could have been saved if seat belts were used. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that in the year 2009 more than 32,000 people nationwide lost their lives in motor vehicle collisions.
On a positive note, the rate of people buckling up has increased significantly over the past 10 years. Safety advocates believe this improvement is due to law enforcement actions and a greater number of states passing seat belt laws. In 2010 it is estimated that approximately 85% of drivers are buckling up.
“Primary seat belt laws” that have been passed make it permissive for police to stop a motorist for not wearing his or her seatbelt. Over 30 states now have this type of law in place. Unfortunately, Arizona does not yet have a primary law in place for all motorists.
Arizona is currently still a “secondary enforcement” state. Police can issue a seat belt citation during a traffic stop for another violation, but they cannot pull a driver over solely for a seat belt violation.
Adults can help prevent child fatalities by properly seat belting them during all driving trips. The American Academy of Pediatrics recently changed some of its recommendations regarding child safety belt use. They recommend that children be placed in rear facing car seats until the age of two, or until they’ve reached the height and weight limitations of the car seat. Once the child has exceeded the limitations, they recommend to switch them to a front facing child seat.
Properly installing a car seat is unfortunately not easy. It is estimated that more than 70% of parents are misusing their child’s safety seat. CarSafety.org is a good site to visit for reviews on car seats and they also provide instructions on how to properly install the seat in a vehicle. If unsure if the seat is properly installed, most local fire departments and/or police departments have officers available to take a look at your car seat and see if it was properly installed. After the child has outgrown a front facing safety seat, the next step to put them into a booster seat.
It should still be noted that some of the best safety measures for child passengers rests in the hands of their adult drivers. Motorists should operate their vehicles in a safe manner and concentrate while at the wheel with no distractions. Proper safety restraints and good driving habits can help keep child passengers safe in the event of a collision.
If you or your child has been injured an a Phoenix traffic collision, contact the Arizona injury attorneys at Abels & Annes for a free consultation. Call (866) 99-ABELS to speak directly to a lawyer today.
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