Seatbelts have long been praised as life saving devices, and state laws across the country require that car passengers use safety belts while they drive.
In fact, New Hampshire is the only state that does not have a seatbelt requirement for adults.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) collects yearly data about seatbelt usage and publishes it on their website.
Although the data is from 2013, it is still very useful. The following are some of the key findings from the 2015 report.
Some Disturbing Trends
For the first time since 2004, approximately 50 percent of those who were killed in car accidents were wearing seatbelts whereas approximately 49 percent were not wearing seatbelts.
Of the several age groups that this study tracks, those between the ages of 13 to 15, 21 to 24, and 25 to 34 are much more likely to be killed while being unrestrained.
Males are also generally more likely to not wear their seatbelts. Those who sit in the backseat (middle) are much more likely to be unrestrained as well.
Pickup trucks and light trucks are more likely to house unrestrained drivers, and passengers are more likely to be unrestrained in those vehicles as well. Passengers in light trucks make up a very high percentage of unrestrained deaths at 82 percent.
Benefits of Seatbelts
Studies indicate that lap/shoulder belts can reduce the risk of death for front-seat passenger car occupants by as much as 45 percent. They can also reduce the risk of moderate-to-critical injury by roughly 50 percent. Those percentages are even higher in light trucks.
One of the major benefits of seatbelts is that they help keep passengers in the vehicle in the event of a car accident. Roughly 79 percent of occupants who are ejected are killed.
In the 2013 data, only 1 percent of people who were wearing their safety belt were ejected completely from the car. In contrast, roughly 31 percent of people who were not wearing their seatbelts were ejected.
The NHTSA estimates that 12,584 lives were saved by using seatbelts. Another 253 children’s lives were saved due to child restraints. Air bags likely saved another 2,388 lives.
Seatbelt Usage in Florida
Approximately 48 percent of those killed in car accidents in Florida are not using their seatbelts. This is actually lower than many other states. In 2013, there were 1,218 people killed in Florida in car accidents.
Consult with an Expert Florida Car Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident, Scott J. Sternberg & Associates wants to speak with you, regardless of whether you were wearing your seatbelt. Call Florida car accident attorney today for a free case evaluation at 561-687-5660.