Missourians Still Below National Average for Seat Belt Use
Posted on June 20th, 2016 by Zane Cagle
Too Many Members of the Show-Me-State Fail to Buckle Up
Missouri law requires all occupants of a vehicle to be properly restrained. While individuals are not generally pulled over and ticketed for failing to wear a seat belt, they are ticketed if involved in a car collision without a seat belt.
Statistically, more car crashes are fatal when the occupants are not properly belted. The chance for ejection in a car crash dramatically increases when occupants fail to wear a seat belt.
Due to years of improved car design, it is considered safer to remain in the vehicle during the crash rather than being ejected.
Years of Research- Seat Belts Save Lives
Because of years of fatality and car injury research, we know the use of seat belts is essential. Yet, we still have only a 78.8 percent seat belt usage rate in Missouri. Even in Illinois, drivers use seat belts 94.1 percent of the time. One, it is illegal to drive your vehicle without a seat belt. Second, that seat belt may save your life.
In 2016, 366 Car Crash Fatalities on Missouri Highways
So far in 2016, there have 366 fatalities and, it is estimated that about 60 percent were not wearing a seat belt. It doesn’t matter if you are just driving only a few blocks to the grocery store–you must buckle up. If you get into the practice of wearing a seat belt, it becomes second nature. It should be the first thing you do before turning the ignition.
Make sure the belt fits you snugly and there is no slack. The belt should be low on the hips to allow for the force from the crash to spread over the strong hip bones.
Legal Problems of Failing to Wear a Seat Belt in a Car Crash Injury Claim
If you are in a motor vehicle crash and you need to make a claim for bodily injury, one of the first questions asked by an insurance company is “Were you wearing a seat belt”? Generally speaking your injuries will reflect whether you were wearing a seat belt or not. It is hard to claim you were wearing a seatbelt if you were ejected from the vehicle. Pretty much the only way you can be ejected while wearing a seatbelt is if the seatbelt failed and again, there will be physical evidence.
Members of a jury will automatically question why you were not wearing a seat belt and they will consider your failure to wear a seat belt as it might have or have not contributed to your injuries. Thus, it is safe to say it could hurt you during the when filing claim process, in medication and/or trial if you failed to buckle up.
Again, the first and foremost important reason to wear a seat belt is to reduce your likelihood of a serious injury or fatality.
Injured in a Motor Vehicle Collision?
If you have been injured in a motor vehicle collision, you will need legal assistance. Your first step is the obvious, seek medical assistance. Once you are able or once a family member is able to contact a skilled car crash attorney, you should retain representation before talking with insurance companies.
If you retain a lawyer right away, we can make sure that crucial evidence needed for your claim is saved. Also, you should not talk with an insurance company or any adjuster while you are on any kind of medication that may impair your memory.
Whether wearing your seat belt or not, you should contact a personal injury attorney right away if for no other reason than the free consultation. We are available seven days a week for consultations and please…………WEAR Your SEAT BELT!