Despite that fact that Texas introduced mandatory safety belt laws in 1985, many motorists in the Dallas-Fort Worth area still choose not to wear a seat belt, even though both drivers and passengers face fines of up to $200 if caught by police. As a Fort Worth personal injury and wrongful death lawyer who has handled many fatal car wreck cases over the years, I know that using a seat belt could potentially save your life. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), safety belt use can increase your chance of surviving a fatal auto accident by up to 50 percent. The NHTSA estimates that approximately 15,000 lives are saved each year throughout the United States thanks to regular seat belt usage.
Wearing a Seat Belt Reduces Risk of Serious Injury
Cars’ seat belts are designed to prevent catastrophic injuries by restraining the strongest parts of the body, distributing the force of the crash across the body so that injuries such as whiplash will be minimized. Most importantly, of course, wearing a seat belt means that you will not hit the windshield in the event of a collision and you will not be ejected from the vehicle, thus drastically increasing your chance of surviving.
It is important that you always wear your seat belt every time you get in the car, whether as a driver or a passenger, regardless of whether you are riding in the front seat or the back seat. The belt should fit snugly across your lap and up across your chest and over your shoulder. If the belt rides up across your stomach or if it is worn under your arm or behind your back, then it will not provide the intended protection and serious injuries may occur as a result.
Correct Safety Belt Use Can Prevent Child Injuries
The NHTSA says that children whose parents neglect to correctly use seat belt are also unlikely to use seat belt properly. It is estimated that only 34 percent of such children actually wear a seat belt, therefore exposing them to enormous risk of injuries. According to the NHTSA, children who wear seat belts are 71 percent less likely to suffer a serious injury in a car crash.
Hiring a DFW Car Accident Lawyer
If you or someone you love has been hurt in a Dallas-Fort Worth traffic wreck which was caused by a negligent driver, it is critical that you consult with a board certified personal injury and wrongful death attorney as soon as possible following the accident. Call us today for a completely free, no obligation consultation on your situation, or to request a complimentary copy of our book 15 Mistakes Which Will Wreck Your Texas Accident Claim. Call now, toll free at 800-354-6275 or locally at 817-294-1900.
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Passenger Rights in Texas Car Accidents
How is fault determined in Texas rear-end collisions?