During any serious vehicle accident, occupant protection makes the difference between life and death.
Statistics tell the tale of the dangers of transportation accidents. According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) in 2012 alone, more than 35,000 people lost their lives in cars, airplanes, trains and other forms of transport. Attending to occupant safety means focusing on regulations, vehicle structure and passenger restraint systems.
No form of passenger restraint is better known than the safety belt. In recently released data, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports approximately 87 percent of vehicle occupants in the United States used seatbelts in 2012, a figure roughly equal to the year before. Other points noted by the NHTSA include:
- Use of lap/shoulder belts by front-seat occupants reduced the risk of fatal injury by approximately 45 percent. Similarly, use of the restraints reduced the risk of serious injury by about 50 percent.
- Seatbelt use is higher in states with primary enforcement laws that allow police to pull over and ticket offenders for that violation alone. In California in 2011, seatbelt use was over 96 percent.
- The use of seatbelts by drivers in heavy traffic increased in 2012.
- Drivers in the Northeastern U.S. increased seatbelt use by four percent in 2012.
As the NHTSA pushes for cars that disable themselves if passengers are not buckled up, the NTSB works for aviation standards on restraints for infants and small children in airplanes.
Seat belts and passenger restraint systems save lives. Wear your seatbelt and ensure your loved ones do, too. If you are injured in a serious vehicle accident, speak with our injury attorneys in San Diego for experienced legal counsel.