This last week, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration completed a huge mobilization effort to raise awareness about seat belt safety, car accidents, dangers, and seat belt laws across the nation. The NHTSA, law enforcement, and other safety groups came together to promote safe driving and seat belt use through campaigns, citations, rewards, advertisements, and more. This year the slogan chosen was “Buckle Up. Every Trip. Every Time.” The goal was to encourage and educate all drivers and passengers throughout the nation to decrease injuries and fatalities in car accidents.
You may have seen a billboard along your highway or an ad alongside an internet article sharing this slogan and encouraging you to buckle up. But do we really need this campaign? Do you wear your seatbelt? Doesn’t everyone know they need to wear their seatbelt?
An intensive study in 2017 showed that over 2,500 lives lost in traffic accidents that year could have been saved if the victim had been properly wearing their seatbelt. That is so much unnecessary loss when the individuals probably thought it wasn’t a big deal, it was a short trip, or they’d just take it off for a second. Young adults are the most at risk since more than half of the car accident fatalities in 2017 for young adults 18-34 were unbuckled at the time of the crash. Furthermore, it’s been shown that men are more likely to drive without their seatbelts.
There are many factors that go into car accidents, truck accidents, and motorcycle accidents, but there is just one factor that can make the greatest impact on keeping you alive and safe–seatbelts. Properly wearing a seatbelt is often the only thing that stands between you and death, regardless of the other accident factors. It’s essential that you have working and properly fitted seatbelts for the driver and all passengers in the vehicle.
Car seats can be a more complicated application of seatbelt practice but are even more vital. Take the time to read directions on the car seat before installing, and be sure that it isn’t an expired car seat. Carefully install the car seat according to manufacturer guidelines, and use all appropriate anchors. Tighten all straps so the seat doesn’t slide or jiggle. When the child is placed in the car seat, make sure the straps are snug, but not tight, and rest over the sternum and hip creases.
Unfortunately, car accidents are a reality of our world. As long as there are human drivers there will be car accidents. The best we can do is to properly educate drivers, encourage safe and defensive driving, and wear our seatbelts every time we sit down in a car. Take the time to talk to your loved ones about wearing their seatbelts, too.
If you do find yourself the victim of a car accident, truck accident, or motorcycle accident, it can be overwhelming. Reach out to our experts at Utah Injury Lawyers for a free consultation and support you need.