Learn why driving unbuckled is a risk you should never take
Wearing a seatbelt isn’t always comfortable or convenient. When you get in the car—especially for a short trip—it can be very tempting to skip the seatbelt. Of course, it is extremely important to resist this temptation and always buckle up on any car trip of any length. Here’s why.
It’s the Law: Many states, including California, have “click it or ticket” laws that actually make seatbelt use mandatory. In California, drivers can be penalized for not wearing their own seatbelts as well as for failing to ensure all of the other people in their vehicle are properly buckled up.
It’s Safer: Seatbelts keep drivers and passengers in the right position during accidents, so that airbags and other safety features can work properly. Seatbelts also prevent one of the most serious consequences of a car accident, namely getting ejected from the vehicle. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Authority, 80 percent of people who get ejected from a vehicle during an accident do not survive. The NHTSA estimates that by preventing ejections and other types of injuries, seatbelts save about 14,000 lives each year.
It Could Reduce Your Compensation: Insurance companies are well aware of the relationship between seatbelt use and decreased risk of serious car accident injuries. They view not wearing a seatbelt as an act of negligence, because it exposes you to increased risk of injury. If they can prove that you were not wearing your seatbelt at the time of an accident, they may be able to argue that you are partially liable for your own injuries and therefore only deserve partial compensation.
For example, say you were rear-ended and you suffered a head injury when you flew forward and hit the windshield. If you had been wearing a seatbelt, it would not have been possible for this injury to occur. Instead, you would have likely suffered a lesser injury such as whiplash. The insurance company might argue that they should only have to pay for a portion of your damages, since your failure to use a seatbelt caused you to suffer a more serious injury and incur higher medical bills than you otherwise would have.
Need Help with a Car Accident Claim?
As your auto accident attorney, we can fight for you to receive full and fair compensation for any injuries suffered in an accident that was not your fault. We represent buckled and unbuckled car accident victims. Call us at 800-333-0000 to discuss your case for free.