While it seems like common sense to fasten your seatbelt when getting in a car, it’s still a significant issue throughout the United States. According to the CDC, in 2009 alone, 33,000 people were killed, and 2.2 million individuals were injured after being involved in an accident. Police reports calculate that nearly half of all those people did not correctly fasten their seatbelts. Many states have laws requiring drivers and some passengers always to wear their belt. There is a variety of consequences for those who don’t buckle up.
How Seat Belts Can Protect You
Countless studies have shown that wearing a seat belt is one of the most reliable ways of minimizing your risk of injury or death in the event of a collision. Wearing a seat belt can protect you in the following ways:
- Prevents you from being ejected from the vehicle during a crash.
- Prevents you from being thrown into hard surfaces on the interior of the car during a collision.
- Prevents you from being thrown into other passengers during a crash.
Individuals who are ejected through the window are more likely to die in an accident. Depending on the speed of the vehicle, a person might be thrown several feet forward, even hitting an object on their way down, like another car. Staying buckled in can also prevent detrimental injuries like whiplash because the straps prevent your body from moving too much.
Passengers in the rear also have to wear their seatbelts. Enough force can throw a person sitting all the way in the back through the front window. Or, passengers can catapult into each other causing a variety of injuries. Concussions, muscle injuries, and broken bones all occur when riders don’t take their safety seriously.
The Legal Ramifications of Not Wearing A Seat Belt
Aside from the risk of injury or even death, those who fail to wear their seat belts are also putting themselves in legal jeopardy. Many jurisdictions have laws that mandate wearing seat belts. By failing to follow these rules, drivers could find themselves on the wrong side of the law. Someone caught not using their seatbelt is subject to a number of fines, while repeat offenses in Florida might cause an individual to lose their license altogether. Although Florida is a no-fault insurance state, a person found not wearing their seatbelt may be held responsible for extensive damages.
Call in a Personal Injury Lawyer
It’s better to be safe than sorry, but sometimes, no matter how many precautions you take, accidents happen. In that case, it’s best to call a lawyer to help you obtain the compensation you need to recover from your injuries. Contact the Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyers at Salpeter Gitkin, LLP for a free case evaluation at 954-467-8622. Our lawyers have decades of combined experience helping Florida residents with their PI cases. Get help as soon as possible by contacting one of our friendly and knowledgeable lawyers today.