Wearing seat belts is considered the safest decision drivers and passengers can make to prevent car accidents. Even though manufacturers have equipped motor vehicles with more safety measures, none of these recent innovations is as critical as a seat belt. Sadly, not all drivers and passengers take this simple task seriously.
Every year, numerous accidents could have been prevented if passengers had worn seat belts. In fact, some drivers could have avoided a more severe outcome if they had buckled up. Talk to Miami car accident lawyers if you or your loved one has been involved in an accident caused by another driver. They can help you assess the merits of your case and the correct legal action to take.
This article will explore the importance of wearing a seat belt and give you additional information regarding wearing seat belts in Florida.
Why Wearing Seat Belts is Important
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that it was recently calculated in one single year that nearly 15,000 lives were saved as a result of seat belt usage. In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) affirms that wearing a seat belt decreases your risk of sustaining severe injuries or death by half. Here are some more ways that seat belts can prevent accidents:
- Distributes the force of impact during a crash: A shoulder or lap seat belt spreads the force of a collision over your entire body. This feature reduces the stress being focused on one part of the body, preventing serious injuries.
- Protects your spinal cord and brain: Seat belts are crucial to protecting the driver and the person in the front seat from traumatic brain or spinal cord injuries. Sudden forceful impact on the dashboard or steering wheel can cause severe damage to the spinal cord and brain.
- Assists in slowing down the body: A sudden change in speed can sometimes cause injuries. Seat belts secure you in place or delay the rate at which you are displaced, thus reducing the degree of injuries.
- Secures the passengers in the vehicle: Being thrown out of the vehicle leads to more severe injuries than if you had remained inside the car.
As we have seen, seat belts help to reduce the degree of injuries. However, you may still be nursing temporary or permanent injuries caused by a negligent driver. South Florida Injury attorneys can help you fight for what you deserve.
Facts about Wearing Seat Belts
Did you know that injuries sustained in car accidents often happen near a person’s home and at lower speeds? More often, people feel safe, and they do not buckle up. Other facts about seat belts are:
- People thrown out of a vehicle during an accident are four times more likely to die than those who remain inside the car.
- Auto accidents are the most common cause of spinal fractures in 15 to 17-year-olds (typical age range for new drivers).
- Motor vehicle manufacturers allow customers to request seat belt adjusters or extenders because fit matters a lot when trying to prevent fatal injuries.
- Each year, car accident injuries and death cost $70 billion in lost work and medical bills.
If you have encountered overwhelming medical bills due to an accident that was not your fault, speak to a Miami auto accident lawyer. With the help of car accident lawyers, Miami victims receive the legal guidance they need to fight for their rights.
Florida Statistics on Wearing Seat Belts
In 2020, the Florida Highway Patrol beefed up its seat belt enforcement efforts. This action led to over 60,000 citations (notices of violation) for passengers and drivers not wearing seat belts. Let’s look at more statistics from Florida:
- The seat belt usage rate in Florida as of 2021 was 90%.
- Per the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FHSM), there was a decrease of 13.56% in serious injuries in 2020 compared to 2019 due to increased seat belt usage (92%).
- On average, 41 % of those killed in car accidents in Florida chose not to wear a seat belt.
- The “click it or ticket” campaign in Florida reduces the risk of being killed or injured in a car accident by 50%.
Florida Laws on Wearing Seat Belts
According to section 316.614 of Florida Statutes, all drivers, front seat passengers, and those under 18 years old must buckle up. In addition, children under three years must be safeguarded using a federally approved car restraint system.
Subsection 6(a) states that a passenger who is certified by a doctor as having a medical condition that precludes them from wearing a seat belt is not required to wear one by law. Additionally, a newspaper employee delivering newspapers on his route is not required to wear a safety belt.
Talk to an Experienced Auto Accident Lawyer in Miami
Suffering a serious injury can leave you with multiple injuries and affect your overall well-being. Aigen Injury Law is committed to helping victims of any type of auto accident throughout South Florida get the compensation they deserve. Our compassionate car accident lawyers in Miami will ensure you get the legal help you need to handle your case. Schedule a free initial case assessment with us today.
This article was reviewed by the Aigen Injury Law.