Despite the fact that motor vehicles are equipped with more safety features than ever before, including tire pressure monitoring systems, back-up cameras, and lane departure prevention systems, none of these innovations are as critical to the safety of passengers as a seat belt. Unfortunately, many drivers and passengers choose to ignore this effective injury-prevention device, putting themselves at risk for injuries or even death. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), seat belts reduce one’s risk of suffering injuries or death by about half. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), seat belts save more than 15,000 lives every year in the United States.
Read on to learn more reasons why wearing a seat belt is important:
- It keeps vehicle occupants inside: There is a longstanding myth that people are better off being thrown out of a vehicle, clear from the crash. The truth is that people thrown from a vehicle are actually four times more likely to be killed than those who remain inside.
- It restrains the strongest parts of the body: For both adults and children, the strongest parts of the body are the hips and shoulders. Seat belts are designed to contact the body at these parts, providing optimum protection.
- Seat belts spread out the force of a collision: Using a lap and shoulder belt helps spread the force of a crash over a wide area of the body, putting less stress on any one area. This can allow one to avoid serious injury. Additionally, a shoulder strap will keep your head and upper body away from the dashboard, steering wheel, and other interior parts of the vehicle that you might otherwise hit if you were either hit by another vehicle or have to suddenly hit the brakes.
- Helps the body to slow down: Oftentimes, an abrupt change in speed is what leads to an injury. Seat belts extend the time it takes for you to slow down in a crash. If you are not buckled up, you could end up hitting the dashboard or side window, depending on the nature of the crash.
- It protects your brain and spinal cord: Seat belts are designed to protect these two critical and vulnerable areas. If you were to hit your head in a crash, it is likely you will suffer a traumatic brain injury. These can range in severity, from a minor concussion to a fatal diffuse axonal injury. No matter how minor a head injury might seem, it is crucial to always seek medical attention since they often do not produce immediate symptoms. In fact, some brain injuries take days, weeks, or even months before a victim begins to experience symptoms. Likewise, spinal cord injuries can also have serious and deadly consequences.
- Wearing a seat belt is required by law: If your safety is not reason enough to wear a seat belt, remember that wearing one is required by law and, if you are caught not wearing one, you might face some expensive fines.
Some believe that air bags are an effective substitute for seat belts. While they are an excellent safety feature, an air bag on its own will not protect you. If you are not wearing your seat belt, it is unlikely your body will remain in a position that allows your air bag to help prevent injuries. To get the most out of this safety feature, you must wear a seat belt.
Car Accident Attorneys in Waterbury
Being involved in a car accident is often a traumatic and frightening experience, particularly if injuries are sustained. You might be faced with mounting medical bills, lost wages, and possibly the loss of the ability to return to work. You should not have to bear the burden of someone else’s negligence and mistakes. At Fitzpatrick Mariano Santos Sousa P.C., our Waterbury accident attorneys are here to support and represent you after you have been injured in a collision. Our mission is to hold the responsible party accountable for their actions and to obtain maximum compensation for you and your family.
Our Waterbury legal team has worked for more than 35 years to assist injured victims after car accidents. We are here to help you recover from your physical and emotional losses as quickly and painlessly as possible.
Contact our office today at (203) 583-8299 to schedule a free consultation with a skilled and experienced member of our team. You should not have to go through this alone.