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How effective are seat belts in motor vehicle accidents?

On Behalf of | Jan 5, 2021 | Auto Accidents |

Most people know that using a seat belt while riding in a car is the best way to keep safe in the event of a crash. Even with that knowledge, many fail to buckle up or ensure their children are safety restrained in an appropriate car seat. This puts them at greater risk of injury or death in the event of a motor vehicle accident. The Centers for Disease control studies this issue in detail and has published findings that reveal just how helpful seat belts and other safety restraints are in saving lives right here in Maryland.

Crash data from 2009 to 2018 shows that more than 3,000 people in passenger vehicles died in Maryland crashes. The age group with the highest risk appears to be those aged 21-34, and men are more likely to die than women, which lines up with national statistics. What is especially concerning is that the CDC says that many of these fatalities were preventable, as using proper safety restraints cuts the risk of serious injury or death by approximately half.

One bright spot in the data is that Maryland drivers have a high rate of using seat belts. Ninety-one percent of adults surveyed say they always use their seat belt in the car, beating the national average of only 87%. The CDC says that laws in relation to seat belt use are an effective means of getting people to buckle up, especially if fines or other penalties are issued for noncompliance.

Even though these statistics suggest that Maryland drivers are safety-conscious, the fact remains that many of them are not. Victims hurt in motor vehicle accidents caused by negligent drivers have legal rights of which they may not be aware, no matter their status of seat belt use. A personal injury attorney can explain the available options for those with questions. What is important is making sure that they or their families are given the chance to hold responsible parties accountable.

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