Experience Brings Results

Are safety belts really safe?

In spite of the fact that the vast majority of motorists agree that safety belts are the best way to prevent injury and death in an Oregon car accident, there are millions of Americans who take to the roadways without ever strapping one on. This begs the question, "Are safety belts really safe?" and "What kind of evidence do we have to prove it?"

The fact is, approximately, 33,000 people die annually from car accidents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that car crashes are the leading cause of death among younger Americans. Meanwhile, those who wear seat belts benefit from the single most effective way of lowering the risk of dying in an automobile accident. According to some estimates, approximately 300,000 people have had their lives saved by seat belts in the United States since 1975. Just in 2012 alone, an estimated 12,174 lives were spared through seat belt use. Addition statistics show that seat belts save car accident victim's life 45 to 60 percent of the time they are involved in an accident.

The NHTSA reports that in 2013, safety belts were being used about 87 percent of the time in the United States. When using seat belts, front seat passengers have a 45 percent less chance of dying and a 50 percent less chance of suffering a moderate-to-critical injury. Meanwhile, when it comes to small pickup trucks, drivers and passengers wearing seat belts have a 60 percent lower chance of dying and a 60 percent lower chance of chance of suffering a moderate-to-critical injury.

All in all, the consensus is in. Seat belts really do save lives, and there is no good excuse not to use them. That said, seat belts are not foolproof against foolish drivers, so individuals who are involved in a serious crash caused by a negligent driver could still be injured and have viable personal injury claims.

Source: AAA, "Seat Belts," accessed Aug. 07, 2015

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