Cagle Law Firm
Attorney Zane Cagle

Posted on January 3rd, 2017,
by Zane Cagle

Patrol Reminds Us of the Importance of Seat Belts

Posted on January 3rd, 2017 by Zane Cagle

Importance of Seat Belt Usage

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The Missouri Highway Patrol issued another reminder of how important seat belts are for occupants of all motor vehicles.  Over the Christmas weekend, six people were killed in car crashes and according to authorities, four of those people were not wearing seat belts and two of them were ejected from the vehicle.

“The most important job the seat belt has is to keep you in that seat, and in that car”, said Rinch. “If we can do that, the car is going to help protect you in that crash. A lot of times you’re ejected and the car rolls over on top of you, leading to not only fatality injuries but very serious injuries.”

Missouri is Below State Average for Seat Belt Usuage

According to the U.S. Department of Traffic Safety Administration, Missourians still only use their seat belts about 79.9% of the time. In 2008, Missourians used their seat belt 75.8% of the time, thus in seven years, there has only been a small increase in usage in spite of the public safety education of the importance of seat belts and seat belt laws. Nationwide, people use their seat belts about 88.5% of the time which is considerably higher than Missourians.

Motor Vehicle Crashes are Leading Cause of Death for Americans, Ages 1-54

Most crash-related deaths in the United States occur to passenger vehicle (drivers and passengers), according to the CDC.. For adults and older children, seat belt use is the most effective way to save lives and reduce injuries in crashes.  However, still yet—–millions of American do not buckle up.  In 2014, more than half of the teens and adults who died in crashes were unrestrained at the time of the crash.

Seat belts to not guarantee that you will not be injured, however, statistically, it cannot be denied that they “greatly” reduce the severity of injury and reduce the percentage of fatal injuries.

Always Buckle Up

Some people only buckle up when they are going on long trips because they have the faulty logic that they can only be injured on a busy interstate. This is incorrect.  In fact, all of the holiday fatalities occurred on roadways that were not interstates and in some cases within just a few miles of the victim’s home.  Think about it—logically, you spend a total of many, many hours a year in your vehicle within 30-60 miles of your home and in those day-to-day travels you are most likely to be in a crash.  Thus, you must buckle up each and every time you get in a motor vehicle.

Make It a Habit–No Matter Where you Sit in the Vehicle

Buckling up is not a habit that will help you lose weight, be more successful or climb the corporate ladder. It is not a New Year’s Resolution that you break before February. It’s a simple lifestyle choice that takes mere seconds each time you get in a vehicle.  Whether you are a backseat passenger or the driver–click your seat belt.

Following a Car Crash…

At the scene of a car crash, it can become immediately obvious who was properly restrained and who was not.  Typically, those properly restrained are not ejected from the vehicle.  Statistically your odds of surviving a crash greatly increase if you stay in a car rather than being thrown from the vehicle

As part of safety reinforcement, law enforcement often set up seat belt checks and issue tickets to those not properly restrained. However, if you are in a crash, a lack-of-seat-belt citation will be the least of your worries.

If you have been injured in a motor vehicle crash, you should contact a personal injury attorney immediately after seeking medical treatment.

Our attorneys are available seven days a week, at (314) 276-1681.