WHAT ARE THE COSTS OF NOT WEARING A SEAT BELT?
It takes just a few seconds to fasten a seat belt. Seconds that not only could save your life and prevent injuries, but it can also help you avoid costly fines and reduced insurance claims for your losses.
Sadly there are many people who still refuse to wear one despite the risks. Most of the people who died in crashes without seat belts are between the ages of 18 and 34 years old.
Roughly half of all people killed in crashes are not wearing their seat belt. There were 9,580 people who were not wearing seat belts who were killed in crashes in the United States in 2013.. These are people who may have lived if they had taken the simple step of buckling up before driving. Roughly 12,000 people every year live because they wore a seat belt. Every 32 hours someone is killed in a crash in this county and certainly there are some who would not have been saved by the seat belt, but why take a chance.
“A traffic accident happens when we least expect it to,” said Attorney James Johnson. “So it’s best to always be prepared for the worst and wear a seat belt. If not for yourself, do it for your loved ones. They will always wonder if you could have lived.”
One of the worst things that can happen to someone not wearing a seat belt is they are thrown through the windshield and onto the pavement where they could die of blunt force trauma, be run over by another vehicle or severely or permanently injured.
More Bad News if You are Not Wearing a Seat belt
Under California laws, motorists are required to wear a seat belt and if you are not buckled up police can issue an expensive ticket starting at $165 for adult fines and $465 for children who are not safely restrained. Sometimes you will get points on your driving record or your insurance rates will increase.
The Office of Traffic Safety began its “Click It or Ticket” campaign in California in 2005 to get the message out to drivers. The results were that seat belt users grew from about 92.5 percent in 2005 to 97.4 percent in 2014. Compare that to the national seat belt use rate of 87 percent.
Additionally, people do not realize that if you are injured in a traffic accident by a negligent driver and were not wearing a seat belt, the insurance company will argue that you contributed to your own injuries. What this means is they will try to reduce how much compensation is owed to you because if you had worn the seat belt your injuries would not have been so bad.
Additionally, if someone is killed in a collision with a negligent driver the insurance company may also argue contributory factors led to your death and your loved ones could have their compensation reduced as a result.
Johnson Attorneys Group has a dedicated legal staff and attorneys to help those who have suffered a loss understand the legal system and obtain the best possible settlement. Call us if you have a question at 800-235-6801 and request a free consultation.