Seatbelt Laws Meant To Save Lives
The California Vehicle Code 27360 requires that all persons in a vehicle (other than a bus or motorcycle) be held in a car seat or wear seatbelts.
The rules vary depending on the age of the person.
Drivers and passengers over the age of 16 may be cited for failing to follow California seatbelt laws.
For children under 6 years old or under 60 pounds of weight, a safety seat or raised seat that meets federal standards for the child’s age and size, is required.
The child should be seated alone in the back seat.
Children over 6 years of age or weighing 60 pounds or more do not need a raised seat or safety seat.
They have to wear a seatbelt and can travel in the front of the car.
A vehicle owner should consult the vehicle owner’s manual regarding passenger-side airbags and child safety before allowing a child to sit in the front.
Seatbelts Can Save Lives
Of course, the main reason to always use a seatbelt is that it increases safety in case of an accident.
According to data from the National Road Safety Administration, the use of seatbelts reduces the chance of serious accident injuries by around 50 percent.
Seatbelts are especially important to prevent individuals from being thrown from the vehicle in the event of an accident.
Taking into account that 75 percent of accident victims are thrown out of the vehicle, this protection is obviously very valuable.
The seatbelt can also help reduce the severity of injuries in minor accidents.
This is because it helps to spread the force of an accident on the strongest parts of the body, and also helps to keep the body in the ideal position for several other safety functions, such as air bags.
Unfortunately, this data also shows that many young adults still do not wear seatbelts, and, by 2012, half of all deaths of 13 to 20-year-olds involved victims not wearing a seatbelt.
How Much Is a Ticket For Not Wearing a Seatbelt in California?
In California, we actually have one of the highest seatbelt usage rates in the nation.
To a large extent, this is because state law requires that all persons in a private vehicle wear seatbelts or face legal consequences if not.
A driver found without a seatbelt can face fines that vary from $20 to $100 (or be ordered to attend driving school ) depending on the age of the driver and if there were any children on board.
Drivers can also be penalized for failing to ensure that their passengers have fastened their seatbelts.
Why Don’t People Wear Seatbelts?
Seatbelts have long been an important safety device in all cars.
Many states require passengers from the front seats to use the seatbelt and some will issue tickets for those who fail to do so.
However, there are still many people who do not like wearing seatbelts. According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), 10,984 people died in auto accidents in 2002.
Of that total, 10,404 were not wearing seatbelts.
Some people decide not to wear seatbelts when traveling close to home.
They think that because they are driving at relatively slow speeds and short distances, they will not need the seatbelt.
According to the NTSB, 80 percent of all accidents occur at speeds of less than 40 miles per hour and 75 percent of them within a 25-mile radius of the driver’s home.
Some people believe that the combination of the pelvic and shoulder seatbelt feels uncomfortable, so they either do not wear it or put the shoulder belt under their arm.
The use of the seatbelt under the arm can cause internal injuries so it is highly recommended to avoid this behavior.
Many people who do not wear a seatbelt refuse to do so because they resent being told what to do in their own car.
People see the car as their strength and want to do whatever they want in it and not be informed by the government about what to do.
While the premise has some sense on the surface, it has nothing to do with reality.
Traffic laws regarding speed limits and stop signs are also examples of the government telling drivers how to behave, but are all only to ensure their safety while on the road.
- Thrown out from their car
Some people suggest the reason that if they are thrown out from a car, they are more likely to survive a crash.
However, according to Californian police reports, people who are thrown out of their cars are more likely to die than those wearing the seatbelt.
- Burning or submerged car
Drivers say they would like to increase their chances of surviving a car fire or a submerged car.
While unblocking the seatbelt would be one more step to escape from any of these circumstances, wearing a seatbelt can mean the difference between being alert or stunned after a crash.
Less than 1/2 of 1 percent of all traffic accidents involve immersion or a fire.
Common Injuries Which Occur in Accidents when Not Wearing a Seatbelt
Even if it sounds like an old story, the safety belt is, since its invention, the most effective passive safety device ever invented (yes, even more than airbags) and until experts think of something that can surpass it, we must use it.
Now, in order to show what the consequences of traveling without a safe belt can be, we have prepared a small list of outcomes ranging from the lightest to the most serious:
Less serious injuries:
– Knee injuries
– Post-traumatic osteoarthritis
– Lower back pain
– Ankle contusion
– Shoulder dislocation
– Partial paralysis of the lower and upper limbs
– Trauma of the solar plexus
– General paralysis
– Brain injury resulting from traumatic brain injury
In the most serious cases, generally when two vehicles collided at high speed, and one of those affected did not use the seatbelt, the following injuries could be present:
– Multiple trauma and shock
– Internal tissue destruction or hemorrhage
– Broken bones and trauma, caused by the driver or passenger getting fired and busting the front window of the car
– Death in most cases
Contact Avrek Law
Another very important reason to use your seatbelt at all times is that not doing so could limit your ability to collect full and fair compensation in case of a car accident.
For example, let’s say you were hit from behind at a traffic light, because of a careless driver.
If you were wearing a seatbelt, 100 percent of the blame for this accident is likely to be assigned to the person who hit you from behind.
But, if you were not wearing a seatbelt, the judge may assign you partial liability for your own injuries.
After all, your fail of using the seatbelt most likely caused your injuries to be worse than they would have been otherwise.
Any compensation you may get in a personal injury case related to the car accident would have to be reduced by the percentage of your own liability.
Our firm has been working on this type of cases for decades and our professional attorneys are very experienced.
They will fight with insurance companies and even in courts if need be, to ensure you will receive a full compensation for your injuries.