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Nationwide seat-belt usage rates mirror Florida’s as authorities seek injury reduction in traffic crashes

CNN reports that seat belt use among adults has reached an all-time high of 85 percent, compared to just 11 percent in 1982. But, with the announcement by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, safety advocates acknowledge that much more needs to be done.

Our Fort Pierce car accident lawyers are often called to fight for a client who has been seriously injured or killed in an accident, whether or not he or she was wearing a seat belt. Seat belts unquestionably save lives. And, of course, we have all heard of the cases in which a motorist was saved in circumstances where not wearing a seat belt was to his or her advantage. Those injured in an accident through the negligence of another driver, can fight to collect damages whether or not a seat belt was in use at the time of the crash.

This latest report found 1 in 7 adults still fail to use a seat belt, despite the fact that health officials contend that wearing a seat belt cuts the risk of serious or fatal injury in half.

Those living in states with primary seat belt laws — which permit an officer to pull a vehicle over and ticket those not wearing seat belts — enjoy the highest compliance rate at 88 percent.

A Florida seat-belt use study in July 2009 found an 85.2 percent compliance rate statewide. That’s up significantly from the 61.6 percent rate found in 1993.

That report found men were slightly less likely to buckle up than women, by a rate of 83.9 percent to 89.3 percent.

Florida County seat belt usage rates:

Broward: 87 percent
Miami-Dade: 87.1 percent
Palm Beach: 87.7 percent
Orange: 84.3 percent

The study also found that those in pickup trucks were significantly less likely to wear their seat belts than were those in cars or other passenger vehicles.

Freeman & Mallard is a Port St. Lucie personal injury and wrongful death law firm dedicated to helping motorists who have been injured in Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and the Port St. Lucie/Fort Pierce areas. Call today for a free consultation. 1-800-529-2368.

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