Colorado Springs Car Accident Lawyer Debunks Myths About Seatbelt Use
More than 90 percent of Americans use seatbelts regularly. And while that sounds good, the reality is that the remaining 10 percent — more than 30 million people — do not buckle up.
One of the safest choices drivers and their passengers can make is to use seatbelts every time they get into a motor vehicle.
Think You Have a Good Excuse to Forego Wearing Your Seatbelt? Think Again.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there is no good excuse for failing to properly use a seatbelt. In 2016 alone, seatbelt use in passenger vehicles in the U.S. saved almost 15,000 lives. You would think that, given the benefits of seatbelt use, everyone would buckle up every time. But some people still rely on myths and excuses to justify not wearing a seatbelt.
Myth #1: I won't be in a crash: I'm a good driver.
While having a good driving record means you might have been proficient at avoiding crashes in the past, that doesn’t mean your driving skills are going to protect you every time. A bad driver can still hit you.
Myth #2: I’ll be safe if I just brace myself.
Even assuming you somehow have the split-second timing of a ninja and could actually brace yourself in time, the force of the impact would shatter the arm or leg you used to brace yourself.
Myth #3: A seatbelt could trap me in the car; I’m better off without it.
Statistically, the best place to be during a crash is in your car. If you're thrown out of the car, you're 25 times more likely to die. And if your car catches on fire or ends up underwater, you can get out a lot faster if you have not been knocked unconscious inside your car.
Myth # 4: They're uncomfortable and they wrinkle my clothes.
Modern seatbelts are only really tight against you if they are not adjusted correctly. Most of them give when you move and you can add slack by simply pulling on the shoulder strap. You can get a comfort clip or a belt extender if you need additional help adjusting your seatbelt to your satisfaction.
Myth #5: I don't need a seatbelt. I've got an airbag.
Air bags generally increase the effectiveness of a seatbelt by 40 percent. But air bags were never meant to be used in place of seatbelts. In fact, if an air bag inflates and you are not wearing your seatbelt, the force of the air bag without the seatbelt restraint could severely injure or even kill you.
Not Wearing a Seatbelt Can Hurt Your Case in a Car Accident Lawsuit
Colorado law recognizes contributory negligence, which means that an injured party’s damages can be reduced by the amount that they are deemed responsible for their injuries. Because wearing a seatbelt in most instances reduces the odds or magnitude of injury in a car accident, a victim’s recovery can be greatly reduced because he or she was not wearing a seatbelt.
Contact a Colorado Springs car accident lawyer at Levine Law if you need help assessing your damages and potential recovery after a motor vehicle accident. We can be reached online or by calling (719) 471-3000. Consultations are free.