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Pennsylvania personal injury lawyer says seat belts can save lives

Buckle_UpWearing a seat belt can help save your life. According to the Just Drive Pa, a seat belt increases your chances of surviving a crash by 60 percent. Seat belt usage rose to 87 percent nationally in 2013, which sounds great, but means that although 184.4 million people are wearing seatbelt, 27.5 million still are not.

According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Association (NHTSA), there are several demographic groups that have a lower seat belt rate than others. These groups include 16- to 24-year-olds, African Americans, males, and drivers who are alone in the vehicle. Research also showed that 67 percent of the pickup truck drivers killed in crashes were not buckled up.

The NHTSA released the following startling statistics regarding age and seat belt use. The numbers reflect occupants killed who were completely unrestrained at the time of the crash.

  • 3 in 5 young occupants, 21 to 24
  • 3 in 5 teen occupants, 13 to 15
  • 1 in 2 young tweens, 8 to 12
  • 2 in 5 children, 4 to 7

Safe Kids Worldwide surveyed 1,000 teenagers about their seatbelt use, and a quarter said they don’t buckle up every time for a variety of reasons. Some said they simply forgot, while others said they didn’t feel they needed to because they weren’t going far. The survey also found that many parents of the teens do not buckle up.

Of the 21,667 motor vehicle occupants who died in crashes in 2012, more than half (52%) were not wearing seat belts at the time of the crash, according to the 2012 Occupant Protection Traffic Safety Fact Sheet. Last year in Pennsylvania, 425 people died in unrestrained crashes statewide, according to Just Drive PA. More motorists seem to drive unrestrained at night, as 61% of those killed in nighttime crashes were unrestrained compared to 43% killed during the daytime.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), seat belts prevent drivers and passengers from being ejected during a crash. People not wearing a seat belt are 30 times more likely to be ejected from a vehicle during a crash. The NHTSA found that of all passenger vehicle occupants ejected from their vehicles in crashes, 79% suffered fatal injuries.

In the past five years, the use of seat belts in passenger vehicles saved nearly 63,000 lives, according to NHTSA statistics. Remember, seat belts should be worn on every trip, no matter how short. Many people believe that if they are not going far or traveling fast, that seat belts aren’t necessary, and that is simply not true. Most fatal crashes happen within 25 miles from home and at speeds of less than 40 mph.

As a driver, you need to make sure everyone is bucked up, including rear-seat passengers. Ensure children are in the proper restraint system for their age and weight, and that all children under 13 are properly restrained in the back seat. Set a good example for your children and others by buckling up at all times, and have a conversation with your teens and children of all ages about the importance of bucking up.

The Pennsylvania personal injury lawyers at Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys specialize in car and truck accidents. We can fight for you and your family. Contact Munley Law Personal Injury Attorneys today to schedule a free consultation. Call 855-866-5529 or visit

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Posted in Car Accidents.

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