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Lack Of Seat Belt Use Is Major Cause Of Crash-Related Injuries And Deaths To Drivers And Passengers

Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death among those aged 1-to-54 in the U.S. A recent study by the National Highway Safety Traffic Commission (NHTSC) confirms seat belt use is one of the most effective ways to save lives and reduce injuries in crashes. Yet according to the study, and despite billions of dollars spent on advertising by the Federal Government over many decades to influence motorists’ driving habits, millions of Americans still do not buckle up on every trip.A total of 22,441 passenger vehicle occupants died in motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2015, the latest year for which data is available on total deaths due to vehicle crashes. More than half (52%-to-59%) of teens and adults aged 20-44 years who died in crashes in 2015 were not wearing

A total of 22,441 passenger vehicle occupants died in motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2015, the latest year for which data is available on total deaths due to vehicle crashes. More than half (52%-to-59%) of teens and adults aged 20-44 years who died in crashes in 2015 were not wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash.

“One of the safest choices drivers and passengers can make is to buckle up,” Jay W. Dankner, managing partner of the top New York car accident injury law firm of Dankner Milstein said. “In 2015, seat belt use in passenger vehicles saved an estimated 13,941 lives and many Americans understand the lifesaving value of the seat belt.”Analogous to people who continue to smoke cigarettes despite a veritable avalanche of health warnings from top scientists and government agencies, it is estimated that nearly 27.5 million people still don’t buckle up. Dankner said the consequences of not wearing, or improperly wearing, a seat belt are clear:

Analogous to people who continue to smoke cigarettes despite a veritable avalanche of health warnings from top scientists and government agencies, it is estimated that nearly 27.5 million people still don’t buckle up. Dankner said the consequences of not wearing, or improperly wearing, a seat belt are clear: Buckling up helps keep passengers safe and secure inside their vehicle. Whereas not buckling up can result in being totally ejected from the vehicle in a crash, which is almost always deadly.

  1. Buckling up helps keep passengers safe and secure inside their vehicle. Whereas not buckling up can result in being totally ejected from the vehicle in a crash, which is almost always deadly.
  2. Air bags are not enough to protect you; in fact, the force of an air bag can seriously injure or even kill you if you’re not buckled up.
  3. Improperly wearing a seat belt, such as putting the strap below your arm, puts you and your children at risk in a crash.

“The benefits of buckling up are abundantly clear,” Dankner urged.

  • If you buckle up in the front seat of a passenger car, you can reduce your risk of fatal injury by 45 percent and moderate to critical injury by 50 percent.
  • If you buckle up in a light truck, you can reduce your risk of fatal injury by 60 percent and moderate to critical injury by 65 percent.

Dankner Milstein provides the following safety tips for those who are responsible for the operation of a motor vehicle and for the passengers for whom the driver is responsible. These seat belt tips and guidelines, including do’s and don’ts when you’re pregnant, also could make a fun quiz about the importance of buckling up. Try making one up for you and your family. 

The Top 5 Things You Should Know About Buckling Up: (read then quiz yourself on what you’ve learned) 

  1. Buckling up is the single most effective thing you can do to protect yourself in a crash
  • Seat belts are the best defense against impaired, aggressive, and distracted drivers. Being buckled up during a crash helps keep you safe and secure inside your vehicle; being completely ejected from a vehicle is almost always deadly.
  1. Air bags are designed to work with seat belts, not replace them
  • If you don’t wear your seat belt, you could be thrown into a rapidly opening frontal air bag. Such force could injure or even kill you.
  1. Guidelines to buckle up safely:
  • Be sure the lap belt and shoulder belt are secured across the pelvis and rib cage, which are better able to withstand crash forces than other parts of your body.
  • Place the shoulder belt across the middle of your chest and away from your neck.
  • The lap belt rests across your hips, not your stomach.
  • NEVER put the shoulder belt behind your back or under an arm.
  1. Fit matters
  • Before you buy a new car, check to see that its seat belts are a good fit for you.
  • Ask your dealer about seat belt adjusters, which can help you get the best fit.
  • If you need a roomier belt, contact your vehicle manufacturer to obtain seat belt extenders.
  • If you drive an older or classic car with lap belts only, check with your vehicle manufacturer about how to retrofit your car with today’s safer lap/shoulder belts.
  1. Seat belt safety for children and pregnant women
  • Find out when your child is ready to use an adult seat belt and learn about seat belt safety when you’re pregnant.
  • If you’re pregnant, make sure you know how to position your seat and wear a seat belt to maximize your safety and the safety of your unborn child.
  • YES—doctors recommend it. Buckling up through all stages of your pregnancy is the single most effective action you can take to protect yourself and your unborn child in a crash.

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CAR SEATS AND BOOSTER SEAT

The time to transition your child out of a booster seat and into a seat belt usually comes when the child is between 8 and 12 years old. Keep your children in booster seats until they outgrow the size limits of the booster seats or are big enough to fit properly in seat belts.See how your child should busing her seat bel

SEAT BELT SAFETY FOR TWEENS & TEENS

As your child grows, you may face challenges enforcing seat belt safety. Life as a parent is full of compromises, but seat belt safety is never up for negotiation. Follow these pointers and set the example of buckling up every time you get into the car.  And remember: Never give up until they buckle up! NOTE: All children under 13 ride in the back seat for maximum safety. Make Sure Your Tween/Teen is Properly Buckled Up the Whole Ride, Every Time

Make Sure Your Tween/Teen is Properly Buckled Up the Whole Ride, Every time learning the importance of wearing a seat belt starts with a good role model—and that’s you.

Learning the importance of wearing a seat belt starts with a good role model—and that’s you.

Consistently remind your children to buckle up properly the whole ride, and never assume they’re buckled up!

Always buckle up before moving the car, no matter how short or routine the drive, and make sure all children are buckled up properly.

“The bottom line,” Dankner said, “NEVER drive or ride in a car without buckling up first!

For more information, contact the top New York car accident injury law firm of Dankner Milstein, P.C. by calling 212-751-8000. Or you can E-mail one of the firm’s lawyers for a free consultation.

Author

Jay W. Dankner

JAY W. DANKNER was born, raised and educated in Brooklyn, New York. After graduation from law school in 1973, he joined the firm of the legendary, Harry H, Lipsig, under whose tutelage he learned the intricacies of civil litigation and trials. He tried and won his first case against General Motors in a case involving a design defect within weeks after his admission. Thereafter, he focused his attention on the emerging and developing field of law known as products liability litigation.

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