Seat belt use is at an all-time high in the U.S., at almost 90 percent of vehicle occupants buckling up. Every state except for New Hampshire has some type of law requiring those in the front seat to buckle up. Twenty-nine states also require back seat occupants to buckle up.
However, despite the use of seat belts, about half of the 37,000 people killed in automobile accidents every year are not wearing seat belts at the time of the crash. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, if all vehicle occupants always used seat belts, almost 15,000 lives could be saved.
Recent studies have found that one effective way to encourage drivers and passengers to buckle up is audible seat belt reminders. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, about 1,500 lives a year could be saved if vehicles used audible seat belt reminders. The numbers vary depending on the type of system that is used. Systems that alert for a longer period of time if occupants don’t buckle appear to be more effective than those that only last a short time.
Although seat belts are one of the oldest safety technologies in automobiles, they are still one of the most effective tools in saving lives. They can prevent occupants from being ejected from a vehicle or from slamming into the inside of a vehicle during a crash.
If you have been injured in an automobile accident that was caused by another driver, you should speak with an attorney. You have legal rights. We can help. Call us today to learn more or to schedule a free consultation on your case.