Recent Ohio studies indicate that 1 in 5 people do not wear seatbelts. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, using a lap and shoulder belt reduces the risk of fatal injury by 60% in SUVs, vans and pickups, and by 45% in cars.
Why do people not wear safety belts? About 25% of respondents in a 2008 state survey said belts are uncomfortable; 23% stated it was too much trouble; and 5% opined they did not want to be trapped. Others refuse to wear belts because they do not want the government telling them what to do. Many believe that if the traffic is light or if they are not driving too far from home, they are less likely to be injured; the fact is that most collisions occur close to home.
Regardless of excuses, we at KLH know after handling 10,000 injury cases that not wearing a seat belt equates to far more deaths and significantly more serious injuries, such as brain damage, disfigurement, and major fractures causing amputations, paraplegia or quadriplegia. Many do not realize that air bags are designed to work in conjunction with seat belt use. So, not wearing a belt means that one is not properly protected by the air bags. Deciding not to wear a belt causes double jeopardy.
Additionally, besides the fact that in most states when a driver or passenger do not wear a belt they are breaking the law, if that person is injured or killed due to another’s negligence the defense attorneys can use the non use against the victim, thereby reducing or eliminating compensation.
Not wearing a seat belt is a decision with many ramifications. It only takes a few seconds to buckle up. This simple act is one of the most meaningful and serious decisions one can make. We strongly encourage you and your family to buckle up anytime you are in a car. We know from vast experience you’ll be making a smart, informed, and reasonable decision that better protects you and your family. As we always say, “no one will take better care of you than you.”