Once again, Jones & Swanson is partnering with the NHTSA to remind motorists to Click It or Ticket. Monday is the first day of 2015’s National Seat Belt Enforcement Mobilization, which lasts through the end of May. As part of this campaign, law enforcement agencies around the U.S. will be cracking down on violators more than usual.
Recent statistics show that automobile passengers have been wearing seat belts more during the day time than in the past, which is fantastic. Unfortunately, stats also show that passengers aren’t buckling up as much as night. While the increased seat belt enforcement will occur 24/7 from May 18-31, law enforcement agencies have been urged to step up between 6 PM and 6 AM more than any other time of day. This may be attributed to the higher number of fatal crashes that occur during this time. The NHTSA reports that our of 21,132 automobile accident fatalities that occurred in 2013, nearly half were unrestrained. The number rose to 59% during the hours of 6 PM until 6 AM.
At Jones & Swanson, our attorneys and staff members speak with automobile crash victims quite often. Because we hear so many first-hand accounts of accidents and lost loved ones, we urge each and every motor vehicle occupant to buckle up before the vehicle begins to move. Even parking lot fender benders can leave occupants with injuries, so it is important to do everything you can to protect yourself.
We’ve heard a variety of excuses for not wearing a seatbelt, some of which include:
- “I’m not traveling far.” A common misconception is that motor vehicle accidents happen most often while traveling great distances. In fact, 80% of traffic fatalities have been reported to occur within 25 miles from home.
- “I’m a good driver, so I won’t be involved in a crash.” While you can control your own driving habits, there’s nothing you can do to ensure there won’t be dangerous drivers on the same roadways that you travel on. You can’t control other drivers’ actions.
- “The seatbelt could trap me in the vehicle.” Statistics show that the safest place to be during an accident is inside the vehicle. Occupants who are thrown out of a vehicle have a 25 times higher possibility of death. While this may not always be the case, the numbers are not in your favor if you don’t buckle up.
- “Seatbelts are uncomfortable.” There are a variety of seatbelt extensions and additions that can be safely used to make seatbelts more comfortable. After all, wearing your seatbelt will surely be more comfortable than broken bones and lacerations.
- “The airbags will protect me so I don’t need a seat belt.” While airbags do increase the effectiveness of a safety belt, they can be dangerous if occupants collide with airbags too quickly. Seat belts prevent this from happening.
For more information on the Click It or Ticket safety campaign, visit www.nhtsa.gov/ciot.