Little Rock Seat Belt Accident Lawyer
A seat belt accident occurs when a driver or a passenger in a motor vehicle or a plane gets injured as a result of being restrained by a safety belt. Although most injuries and fatalities are the results of not wearing a seat belt, some injuries may result from improper use or malfunctioning belts. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration(NHTSA), seat belt statistics continue to improve, as a result of education and consistent law enforcement.
Causes of seat belt accidents
Accidents involving seat belts are two-fold: the result of not wearing them and seat belt defect related. Not wearing a seatbelt can cause a wide range of damages from simple bumps and bruises to being thrown out of the car and killed.
Belt defects may include:
- false latching,
- automatic unlatching,
- retractor failure causing the belt to become slack in an accident,
- material defect causing tears or rips, and
- lap-only belt designs that provide little or no protection.
Seat belt accident statistics
Safety belt statistics give ample evidence that wearing the belt is a must:
- it can reduce injuries by about 50% and fatalities by 60-70%;
- you are 25-times more likely to get killed if you are thrown out of the vehicle than if you remain in the car;
- a large number of deaths and injuries to children are caused by being crushed by adults not wearing seat belts, and about 25% of injuries are caused by being thrown to each other;
- 80% of child fatalities could have been avoided had the children been appropriately restrained;
- and 80% of children are immunized, however, only about 10% of them are adequately restrained!
Possible seat belt injuries
Improper use or malfunctioning seat belts can cause injuries, referred to as seat belt syndrome in the literature.
The types of injuries include:
- damage to internal organs,
- fractures to the ribcage,
- shoulder as well as costs to the pelvis,
- bruising and other contact injuries,
- puncture wounds from the locking mechanism,
- broken neck, and
- brain damage.
What shall I do?
- Wearing seat belts should be a requirement for all drivers and passengers, especially for inexperienced drivers such as teenagers.
- If possible, avoid driving during high-risk hours.
- The key to seat belt safety is proper education: lead by example and be the first one to buckle up!
- Ensure that all children under 12 are appropriately restrained in the back of the car, and they are never allowed to sit in the front seat!
What mistakes shall I avoid?
- Never pile up passengers in your car; they can get injured by thrown to each other.
- Refuse to drive unless everyone in the vehicle is adequately restrained and stays safely in his or her seat.
- Under no circumstances, hold your child in your arm while driving or give in to your child while complaining about the seat belt.
- Do not use an adult seat belt for children and never, ever drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs, even if you are buckled up!
How to prevent an seat belt accident?
Common-sense measures can prevent seat belt accidents.
- First, maintain your seat belts just like you keep your car and make sure it is designed for your height and weight.
- Second, always buckle up, even if you go on a one-mile trip.
- Third, do not trust airbags only; they may not offer much protection in side-impact collisions.
- Next, drive safely and avoid tailgating, which is the leading cause of accidents.
- Finally, avoid using your smartphone while driving, especially for web surfing or text messaging.
Some legal advice
The consequences of not wearing the seat belt can be that you may not collect any compensation because you neglected to exercise ordinary care, that is, you are caught in the middle of contributory negligence argument, which may bar you from receiving payment in some States. Another case is the failure to mitigate your damages by not wearing a seatbelt (to make sure you control the costs if you can do so). You may seek compensation is a seat belt case for a product as well as personal injury liability. It is advisable to contact us today and get a free legal consultation with top rated Little Rock seat belt injury lawyer to see what your options are (especially if you did not wear your seat belt).