You know that seatbelts save lives, but you may not realize exactly how important they are to your safety and how dangerous not wearing seatbelts is, statistically speaking. When you’re traveling by car, make it your policy to buckle up – and to ensure that everyone else is buckled up – every single time. If another driver’s negligence causes you to be injured in a car accident, experienced Texas car accident law firms have the skill, knowhow, and compassion to help.
What’s In This Guide
- Car Accident Statistics: Seat Belts
- How Seat Belts Help
- The Other Driver’s Negligence
- Obtaining Just Compensation
- Working Closely with an Experienced Car Accident Attorney
Car Accident Statistics: Seat Belts
The Texas CBS-19 station reports that, in 2020, fatalities related to not wearing a seatbelt saw a spike of 16 percent (according to the Texas Department of Transportation, TxDOT). In 2019, 926 people lost their lives as a result of not wearing a seat belt, and in 2020, 1,073 people were fatally injured due to their failure to buckle up. The Executive Director of TxDOT weighed in with, This past year we have all been reminded of the simple acts we can take to protect our lives and those of our loved ones, and went on to emphasize the importance of wearing a seat belt. Additional related statistics include:
- Seat belts reduce the risk that you will die in a auto accident by 45 percent when you are in the front seat of a passenger car and by 60 percent when you are in a pickup truck (TxDOT).
- 59 percent of accidents involving unbuckled fatalities happen at night.
- The Texas Click It or Ticket initiative is estimated to have saved about 6,000 lives from 2002 to 2019 and to have prevented more than 100,000 serious injuries, which amounts to an economic savings of an estimated $23.6 billion.
Bankrate also weighs in with information and statistics about the efficacy of seatbelts – and the danger associated with not using them. Consider the following:
- Seat belts date back all the way to the 1800s, but as recently as the 1980s, only about 10 percent of Americans used them. Due to improved education and awareness, however, national usage hit the 90.7 percent rate in 2019.
- Of the 37,000 traffic fatalities in 2017, nearly half were not wearing seat belts. It’s estimated that about 2,549 would have survived if they’d had their seat belts on.
- A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) comprehensive study of car accidents from 1960 to 2012 determined that seat belts save more lives than all the other car safety mechanisms combined, including anti-lock brakes, power steering, airbags, and electronic stability control.
- Of the 22,215 occupants of passenger vehicles who lost their lives in 2019, 47 percent were not buckled in.
How Seat Belts Help
Seat belts help keep us safe in all the following ways:
- Having a seatbelt strapped securely across you helps to prevent you from being ejected from your vehicle in the event of an accident.
- Your seatbelt protects you from the dangerous force of an airbag being deployed, which can be life-threatening if you are not buckled in.
- Seatbelts stop you and your passengers from being thrown around the vehicle during the impact of a crash.
- Seat belts decrease the danger experienced by everyone in your vehicle.
Seat belts save lives.
The Other Driver’s Negligence
Car accidents do not happen in a vacuum. Typically, they are caused by driver negligence – and failure to wear a seatbelt makes them that much more dangerous. Consider the most common forms of driver negligence:
- Failure to follow the rules of the road, including obeying traffic signs, signals, and lights
- Impairment by alcohol or drugs
- Excess speed
Obtaining Just Compensation
If another driver causes you to be injured in a car accident, obtaining the compensation to which you are entitled and that you need to achieve your most complete recovery is essential. The covered losses you experience include several primary categories, including:
- Property damage to your vehicle
- Medical costs
- Lost earnings
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering
Your car accident claim should carefully address your losses in their entirety – in support of your legal rights and your ability to regain your health and well-being.
Working Closely with an Experienced Car Accident Attorney
Car accident claims are complicated, and obtaining your rightful compensation can be challenging. When you have a dedicated auto accident attorney in your corner, however, you can leave all the following tasks in his or her capable hands:
- Gathering critical evidence that helps to build your strongest claim, including eyewitness testimony
- Hiring expert witnesses whose expertise bolsters the position of your claim
- Having accident models that depict how the accident happened and that demonstrate the other driver’s responsibility in the matter.
- Putting together your strongest claim and using it to engage in skilled negotiations with the insurance company
- Communicating with the insurance company on your behalf (you are not legally obligated to provide the insurance company with a statement, and it’s generally in your best interest to leave this to your attorney)
- Preparing for court (in the event the insurance company fails to engage in fair negotiations)
Although your attorney will be prepared to go to court (if the need should arise), it is unlikely that this will come to pass. The overwhelming majority of car accident claims are settled out of court.
Discuss Your Claim with an Experienced Texas Car Accident Attorney Today
If the negligence of another driver leaves you injured, the focused Texas car accident attorneys at The Patel Firm are committed to employing the full force of their considerable experience in their concerted effort to obtain the compensation to which you are entitled and that you need to help you fully heal. We are on your side and here to help, so please do not wait to contact or call us at 361-400-2036 for more information today.