FALSE ASSUMPTIONS ABOUT MOTOR VEHICLE CRASHES AND WHY SEATBELTS ARE IMPORTANT
Many people, if not almost all, believe most crashes that result in deaths happen at high speeds and well away from our homes. Wrong. The facts do not support these assumptions or beliefs. Rather, the data shows that 80% of deaths occur in cars traveling less than 40 miles per hour, and 75% of crashes occur within 25 miles of our homes.
Louisiana law makes it mandatory for all drivers and passengers in cars, vans, and pickup trucks to wear seatbelts. Wearing a seatbelt reduces the risk of serious injury and death by 50%. Those less likely to wear them are teens, commercial drivers, males in rural areas, pickup drivers, people driving at night, and people who have been drinking. The bottom line is simple. “Buckle up.” Studies show that wearing a seatbelt is the smartest move that drivers can make to prevent injury or death. Here are some facts:
- Your chances of being killed are 25 times greater if you are thrown from your vehicle.
- Non-belted fatalities have been recorded at speeds as low as 12 miles per hour.
- The force of an impact at just 10 miles per hour is equal to the force of a 200 pound bag of cement dropped from a first story window.
- If everyone who is involved in a crash wore a seatbelt at the time of the crash, 60% more lives could be saved.
- 1 in 7 adults choose not to wear seatbelts.
Concerning children, the Louisiana Child Passenger Restraint law requires that all children must be properly restrained and secured in an age- or size-appropriate passenger restraint system that meets the applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards. Here is that information:
- A child 6 years or younger or under 60 lbs. may not be transported in the front seat of a vehicle with an active airbag.
- Birth or less than 20 lbs. at any age – rear-facing, federally approved car seat
- 1-4 years, at least 20 lbs. but less than 40 lbs. – forward-facing, federally approved car seat
- 4-6 years, at least 40 lbs. but less than 60 lbs. – booster seat with restraints
- 6 years, more than 60 lbs. – booster seat with restraints or seat belts
- Booster seats are an appropriate option for a child of any age.
If you remember one thing it is wearing seatbelts saves lives and reduces the risk of serious injuries. To repeat, “Buckle up” and make sure that your passengers and children also are buckled up and in proper restraints.
If you have been injured in a crash and have questions, call us today! The sooner we meet, the faster we can evaluate your case and, if you choose to hire us, the faster we can begin to help you maximize your recovery.