Seat Belts Really Do Save Lives

seat belts save lives, Orland Park Car Accident AttorneyOne of the simplest—yet most effective—ways to protect yourself from injuries in the event of a car crash is to use your seat belt. Using a seat belt reduces the risk of fatal injury to people in the front seat of a passenger vehicle by 45 percent. People riding in light trucks who buckle up reduce their risk of a fatal injury by 60 percent. Yet thousands of people are killed each year because they did not buckle up.

The National Numbers

According to national statistics, just under 36,000 victims were killed in crashes in 2015, and almost half of them—48 percent—were not wearing a seat belt. Crash studies have determined that almost 3,000 of those victims would have survived the crash if they were wearing seat belts. These studies also determined that almost 14,000 people who were involved in car crashes in 2015 did survive because they made sure they had on their seat belt.

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) has been collecting this data since 1975. The 50 years of statistics show that seat belts have saved the lives of 344,448 people. Tragically, more than 381,000 people may have survived had they used their seat belts when they got inside their vehicles.

Using Seat Belts

Seat belts help keep drivers and passengers secure in their vehicle in the event of a collision. When a person is not wearing a seat belt, and his or her vehicle is hit with a strong impact, he or she can be thrown from the vehicle, which is often fatal.

In order to be effective, it is important that seat belts are used properly. Failure to properly use a seat belt so can be dangerous. To begin, the shoulder belt and the lap belt should be placed across your rib cage and pelvis, making sure the shoulder belt goes across the middle of your chest and is away from your neck area. Also, make sure that the lap belt does not go across your stomach. It should go across your hips. It is also critical to never put the shoulder belt under your arm or behind your back.

Public Education Campaigns

There are currently several public service campaigns nationwide which educate the public on the importance of seat belt protection. Two of those campaigns—Buckle Up America and Never Give Up Until They Buckle Up—focus on education. The Never Give Up program is aimed directly at tweens (children between the ages of 8- to 14-years-old). A third program, Click It or Ticket, incorporates stepped-up seat belt enforcement by local and state law enforcement agencies.

Have You Suffered Car Crash Injuries?

The good news is that education does seem to be working. Nationally, seat belt use has increased from 71 percent in 2000 to almost 89 percent in 2015. The bad news is that even if you make it a point to buckle up every time you get in your vehicle, you can still be injured in a car crash caused by a negligent driver.

If you or a family member has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, contact a seasoned Orland Park car accident attorney to find out what legal recourse you may have. Call James A. Payonk Jr., Attorney at Law, at 708-633-6005 today for your free consultation.


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James A. Payonk, Jr.

~ Attorney at Law ~

10705 W 159th St.
Orland Park, Illinois 60467

(708) 633-6005