By Pendergast Law on May 21, 2012
Nearly half of all car accident deaths and over one-third of all serious injuries are suffered by people who were not wearing a seat belt at the time of the collision, according to the Washington Traffic Safety Commission.
The Commission analyzed traffic crash data in Washington from 2006 to 2010. Studies found that both the overall number of car accident deaths involving un-seat-belted motorists and the percentage of those who lost their lives in accidents where they weren’t wearing seat belts have decreased in recent years, as efforts to encourage seat belt use have increased. In 2006, for example, 198 people who died in fatal auto accidents in Washington were not wearing seat belts at the time. This number represented 44.8 percent of all lives lost in car accidents that year. In 2010, however, the number of people who were not wearing a seat belt during a fatal accident dropped to 102, or 35.4 percent, of the total.
Similar patterns emerged in the numbers of people who suffered serious injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries or spinal cord injuries, while not wearing a seat belt. In 2006, 355 unrestrained motorists suffered serious injuries, or about 22 percent of the total serious injuries in car accidents. In 2010, 255 motorists were seriously injured while not wearing seat belts, representing only 17.6 percent of the total serious car accident injuries that year.
Seat belts can’t prevent accidents, but they are an easy way to help reduce the risk of death or serious injury if you and your loved ones are involved in a crash. At Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S., our knowledgeable Bellevue car accident lawyers are dedicated to helping injured motorists and their families seek the compensation they need after an accident, so that our clients can focus on healing. Call us today at 888-539-9211 for a free, confidential case evaluation.