We do most of our driving locally. And for that reason, it's not surprising that most accidents happen during our errands and other short trips. On the other hand, that's when we're most likely to drive without our seat belt. We're oftentimes more likely to buckle up during longer, faster trips.
According to Health Canal, researchers conducted a project on 100 instrumented vehicles and published the findings in Accident Analysis and Prevention. The results came to one conclusion -- the inconvenience of an accident and injuries outweigh the inconvenience brought about by seat belt usage.
Our Los Angeles car accident lawyers understand that we would see a near 50 percent decrease in the number of car accident fatalities if all drivers and front-seat passengers wore their seat belt during each and every car ride. Still, close to 20 percent of these motorists aren't buckling up, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
"We wanted to find out what makes occasional seat belt users buckle up more than half the time," said Jon Hankey with the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute.
According to surveys, drivers know they're better protected while wearing a seat belt. So why doesn't everyone do it?
One of the most effective ways to get motorists to buckle up is to enact seat belt laws. These laws serve as an effective deterrent. According to the California Highway Patrol (CHP), every person riding in a private passenger motor vehicle must be properly restrained in an approved safety belt system.
Findings of the Seat Belt Study:
-Younger women are more likely than older women to ride without a seat belt.
-Vehicle occupants with a higher level of education were more likely to buckle up.
-Those who buckle up "occasionally" were more likely to display aggressive driving habits.
-Drivers who buckle up "infrequently" had a higher at-fault accident rate that the other groups.
-Those who wore seat belts more often took few car tips in a day.
Later, the Strategic Highway Research Program will be looking at these same factors. These researchers will be looking at the buckle rates in roughly 2,000 vehicles. This is going to be the largest naturalistic study ever conducted. According to the CHP, there were close to 2,740 people killed in car accidents in California in 2010. In addition to those fatalities, there were another 230,000 people injured. All in all, we saw more than 2,500 fatal car accidents throughout the entire year. Many of these fatalities could have been prevented if more motorists buckled up.
It's important to remember that the state of California is the deadliest in the country for car accidents.
If you're in a motor vehicle -- buckle up! The only exceptions to our state's law include individuals with health problems who carry a current letter from a physician or chiropractor.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident, contact HOWARD LAW P.C. for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your case. Call (800) 872-5925.
Los Angeles Traffic Safety: April is Distracted Driving Month, California Injury Lawyers, March 31, 2013
Assemblyman Targets California Hit-and-Run Drivers, California Injury Lawyers, March 17, 2013