NHTSA promotes seat belt use as powerful injury-prevention tool for South Florida drivers
A two-car accident on I-385 in South Carolina between a 2006 Toyota sedan and 2011 Chevrolet SUV carrying the driver and six passengers, all from South Florida, left one dead and sent seven to an area hospital in a crash that could have had much more deadly consequences. According to WSPA-7, all but one involved were wearing seat belts at the time of the accident.
Our West Palm Beach injury attorneys recognize that sometimes seat belts save lives. Tragically, in other cases they do not. But, as we reported in an earlier post to our Fort Lauderdale Car Accident attorney blog, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that in 2009 alone, more than 12,000 lives were saved just by passengers and drivers choosing to buckle up.
In fact, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood just announced that NHTSA ongoing agency-generated safety programs have been successful in encouraging seat belt usage. Since 1994, the number of passengers and drivers using seat belts has climbed from 58 percent to 85 percent as the number of unrestrained passenger vehicle fatalities has dropped from 57 percent to 44 percent. In an effort to educate the public regarding proper seat belt use, air bag deployment and even buckling up while pregnant, the NHTSA offers a few tips for drivers and passengers:
ABOUT SEAT BELTS:
~ Wearing a seat belt is the simplest and easiest way to protect vehicle occupants from impaired, distracted and aggressive driving and from injury or death in the event of a car accident.
~ Seat belt use and air bag deployment are tandem, potentially life-saving, mechanisms. An air bag alone does little protect a driver or passenger during a crash. In fact, in some cases, air bags can increase the chance of injury or death because they deploy with such force.
~ How a seat belt fits is important. The lap belt and shoulder strap should fit securely across the pelvis near the hip crease and the shoulder belt should rest across the shoulder and rib cage. For best results, all vehicle occupants should buckle up.
SEAT-BELT & AIR BAG SAFETY WHILE PREGNANT:
~ Medical professionals recommend that pregnant women always wear a seat belt and enable air bag deployment. With that said, as mentioned above, air bags without seat belts can create their own safety hazards.
~ As you belly grows, so should the space between you and the steering wheel/dashboard. As long as you can comfortably reach the pedals, pregnant drivers should maintain a 10-inch space between their abdomen and the steering wheel.
The West Palm Beach Car Accident attorneys at Freeman & Mallard have been successfully and aggressively representing car accident victims and their families in Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, and Ft. Pierce /Port St. Lucie for years. Call us today to schedule a no-obligation appointment to discuss your case at 1-800-529-2368.