Maryland teen Ryan Drowsky Jr., was partially ejected from his vehicle, after his car overturned and slid into the opposite lane, when he failed to turn properly. The 18-year-old was with 4 other passengers, 3 of whom were seriously injured. One passenger was not injured, and was the only person properly restrained.
According to the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), of the 37,133 people killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2017, 47% were not wearing seat belts. In 2017 alone, seat belts saved an estimated 14,955 lives and could have saved an additional 2,549 people if they had been wearing seat belts. Further, over 2500 lives could have been saved if the occupants had been restrained properly.
Below are 4 helpful tips to promote safety while occupying a motor vehicle:
1. Buckling up is the single most effective thing you can do to protect yourself in a crash
Seat belts are the best defense against impaired, aggressive, and distracted drivers. Being buckled up during a crash helps keep you safe and secure inside your vehicle; being completely ejected from a vehicle is almost always deadly.
2. Air bags are designed to work with seat belts, not replace them
If you don’t wear your seat belt, you could be thrown into a rapidly opening frontal air bag. Such force could injure or even kill you. Learn about air bag safety.
3. Guidelines to buckle up safely
The lap belt and shoulder belt are secured across the pelvis and rib cage, which are better able to withstand crash forces than other parts of your body.
Place the shoulder belt across the middle of your chest and away from your neck.
The lap belt rests across your hips, not your stomach.
NEVER put the shoulder belt behind your back or under an arm.
4. Fit matters
Before you buy a new car, check to see that its seat belts are a good fit for you.
Ask your dealer about seat belt adjusters, which can help you get the best fit.
If you need a roomier belt, contact your vehicle manufacturer to obtain seat belt extenders.
If you drive an older or classic car with lap belts only, check with your vehicle manufacturer about how to retrofit your car with today’s safer lap/shoulder belts.
If you have been injured in a car wreck, or lost your loved one due to another’s negligence, the lawyers at Kimmel, Carter, Roman, Peltz & O’Neill are here to help. Contact us at 302-565-6100 to schedule your free consultation.