By: KGD Law
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Straight Facts About Seatbelt Use
Kirshner Groff and Diaz, is committed to protecting our clients and their families. We have looked into the tearful eyes of too many parents struggling with catastrophic injuries caused by a parent not putting their toddler in a car-seat, or insisting their older children use a seat belt.
Other times it’s a teenage driver who never saw his/her parents wearing a seat belt, or peer pressure from friends not wearing seat belts.
Although this newsletter focuses on children, adults are just as likely suffer serious injuries and death by not wearing seat belts. If you don’t think this is true, call us and we will show you the numbers.
You should also know that in Florida a negligent driver is not financially responsible for injuries caused by the accident victim not wearing a seat belt (we will explain more about this in a future newsletter, or call us for the facts).
FACTS TO THINK ABOUT:
- We have the nation’s second highest death toll (by percentage) for unrestrained children.
- In 2000, 76.5% of children in Florida 18 and younger killed in motor vehicle accidents were unrestrained. (5)
- Automobile accidents are the leading cause of death of children, ages 2-14. (1)
- In fact, automobile accidents are the leading cause of death through age 35. (2).
- The 14% of children who do not use seat belts, account for 50% of children who are killed in crashes (For children under age 14). (3)
- Most accidents happen close to home: “I’m just driving down the street,” is not a good excuse. Accidents by distance from home: (6)
- 1 mile or less from home: 23 percent of all accidents
- 2 to 5 miles from home: 29 percent of all accidents
- Residential streets are not safer (“I was just driving around the corner” is no excuse). In fact, 60% of crashes occur on roads with posted speed limits of 40 mph or less. (3)
- The front seat is no place for children. In 2004, 149 children, age 11 and under, died from air bag related injuries. Of those,
23 infants were killed.
- Of the other 123 children who died, “virtually all of them were totally unrestrained or improperly restrained”. (7)
Set a good example. If you do not wear a seat belt, chances are your children won’t either.
Some things are worth arguing over. If you don’t push seat belt use today, it may be too late tomorrow!
Seat belts cannot save lives if they are not used!
1. NHTSA, Traffic Safety Fact, Children 2002
2. NHTSA, Motor Vehicle Occupant Protection Facts sheet
3. National Safe Kids Campaign, Motor Vehicle Occupant Injury Fact Sheet, 2004
4. Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, 2004.
5. The Miami Herald: Fla. Kids’ traffic deaths up; seat-belt law in spotlight 7/31/02
6. Progressive Insurance Company study conducted in 2002
7. NHTSA, Special Crash Investigation Reports, April 2004