Some people wonder if wearing a seat belt really makes a difference. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, seat belts save lives. Motor vehicle crashes are one of the leading causes of death in the United States for people between the ages of 1 and 54. 23,714 people died in car crashes in 2016 alone. More than half of those people were not wearing seat belts at the time of the crash. Additionally, more than 2.6 million people were treated at hospital emergency rooms due to motor vehicle crash injuries in 2016. This has resulted in an estimated 48 billion dollar cost due to medical care and lost work time.
Who Takes the Most Risks?
It probably comes as a surprise to no one that young adults in the 18 to 24 age range are the least likely to wear seat belts. Also perhaps not surprising, men are less likely than women to wear seat belts. However, there is also data that indicates those living in non-metropolitan areas are less likely to wear seat belts than their city-dwelling counterparts. Finally, the CDC reports passengers in the back are less likely to wear seat belts than those in the front seat. Unfortunately, this puts them at greater risk for injury or death. This choice also has a secondary consequence. When someone is not properly seat belted in place, they become a flying object in a car crash. Their movement after the crash can injure other seat belt wearing occupants of the car, causing injury to others as well as themselves.
Seat Belt Data
Studies show time and again that seat belts save lives. In 2016 alone, it is estimated seat belt use saved 15,000 lives. Additionally, seat belt use reduces serious crash-related injuries and death almost by half. Some people believe that airbags are an adequate substitute for seat belts. However, the data does not support this. It is true that airbags provide an additional layer of protection. However, they are no substitute for seat belts. Studies show that the combination of seat belt use and airbags provides the highest level of protection for both drivers and passengers.
Stay Safe and Model Safe Driving Habits
At Frost & Kavanaugh, we want you to be safe. The CDC recommends parents and caregivers model safe driving habits, such as using a seat belt on every trip, regardless of how long or short the trip is. Make certain children are properly bucked up in their car seat, booster, or seat belt. Finally, let your passengers know you will not drive the car until everyone is bucked up. If you or a loved one has had the misfortune of being involved in a car crash, contact us. We handle personal injury cases, seeking recovery for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering you experience due to the crash. Don't wait. Call today at 518-283-3000.