Traffic crashes cost the nation about $230 billion each year in medical expenses, lost productivity, property damage and related costs.
What is the impact of seat belt use?
According to NHTSA, the overall seat belt use rate in 2014 was 87 percent. Research has found that lap/shoulder seat belts, when used properly, reduce the risk of fatal injury to front-seat passenger car occupants by 45 percent and the risk of moderate-to-critical injury by 50 percent. In light trucks, seat belts reduce the risk of fatal injury by 60 percent and moderate-to-critical injury by 65 percent.
The enforcement of seat belt laws tends to differ from state to state. Please note that many states listed as having secondary seat belt laws have primary laws for younger drivers and passengers.
Seat belt laws are divided into two categories: primary and secondary.:
Primary seat belt laws allow law enforcement officers to ticket a driver or passenger for not wearing a seat belt, without any other traffic offense taking place. Louisiana has the Primary law.
Secondary seat belt laws state that law enforcement officers may issue a ticket for not wearing a seat belt only when there is another citable traffic infraction.
What does it mean for Louisiana?
According to a 2016 news article in the Advocate: Traffic deaths in Louisiana have plummeted nearly 30 percent, in part because the simple act of fastening a safety belt has hit record levels. “All that equates to saving lives,” said John LeBlanc, executive director of the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission. LeBlanc noted that, in the early 1980s, only 12 percent of drivers complied with safety belt laws. Now the rate is 85.9 percent, an all-time high and just under the national average of 87 percent.
The article goes on to say: Even back seat riders are more safety conscious. When the [Louisiana] law passed in 2008 to mandate back seat usage less than one in three passengers — 27 percent — did so. Last year, the backseat buckle up rate was nearly 70 percent.
Not only is wearing a seat belt the law, it’s an act that could and does save lives. It doesn’t matter how old you are, where you’re traveling to, or where you’re positioned in the car, you should always buckle up! Seat belts are also the best defense against impaired, aggressive, and distracted drivers.
Car accidents can be very serious for victims. If you’ve been seriously injured in an accident or have been harmed by someone else’s carelessness, you should consult with Louisiana personal injury lawyer, Clay Burgess , as soon as possible.
Personal injury laws in Louisiana allow injured victims to file civil lawsuits against people, companies or government entities whose acts or omissions cause harm. The Lake Charles Law Firm of L. Clayton Burgess is committed to representing those who have been seriously hurt or suffered a wrongful death involving someone else’s negligence or intentional actions. We offer a FREE consultation for information regarding your case.