Police on I-20 Wreck: "A Seat Belt Could Have Saved Her."

GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas - At around 11 p.m. Thursday, a woman was killed in a wreck on Interstate 20 in Grand Prairie. According to police, one car side swiped another, pushing the first vehicle off of the highway.

The driver, a 21-year-old woman, wasn't wearing a seat belt and was thrown from her car and killed. The driver of the other car sustained injuries that are not thought to be life-threatening. 

Police say the woman would have survived the crash if she had been wearing her seat belt. 

Is it illegal to drive in Texas without wearing a seat belt?

Like every state except for New Hampshire, Texas law requires that all drivers and passengers wear a seat belt. Under the statute, the driver is responsible for making sure all passengers put on their seatbelts. 

What happens if I don't wear a seat belt?

Aside from getting a fine and potentially appearing before a judge, you're putting your life at risk every time you drive without wearing your seat belt. According to the National Highway Safety Administration, you're 45 percent more likely to survive a bad wreck if you buckle up. That's huge.

Why would anyone not wear a seat belt? 

With those statistics, you have to wonder why anyone would forgo this simple solution. Sometimes, people forget. However, there are a few myths that may entice people to give up their seat belt on purpose. These include: 

  • I'm a good driver and I've never been in a wreck, so I don't need to wear a seat belt. 
  • I'm strong and I can brace myself against my steering wheel in a crash. 
  • I'm safer not wearing a seat belt since it can trap me in my car if it's on fire or under water.
  • My car has airbags so I don't need a seat belt. 

And now for the facts:

  • Being a good driver isn't enough. You can't control the actions of those around you.
  • Multiply your weight by the speed you're traveling to discover how strong you'd have to be to brace yourself against your steering wheel in a wreck. For instance, a 150 pound person going 35 mph would need to exert 5,250 pounds of force! Are you Superman? Then you should buckle up. 
  • Only .005 percent of crashes actually involve either fire or water. 
  • Airbags are more effective when used in conjunction with a seat belt. 

It's the law for a reason. Stay safe and buckle up!

Mark A. Anderson
Board Certified Personal Injury Lawyer in Fort Worth, Texas
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