Maybe you’re the type of person who always buckles up when you get into your car. You might be the person in your family who insists that everyone is properly belted in every time you drive. While that is admirable, the sad fact is that not everyone is so dedicated to safety.
Though most people understand why the use of safety restraints, such as seat belts or car seats, is important, that doesn’t always mean they comply. Data from the Centers for Disease Control shows that while the use of proper safety restraints is fairly high, that number is not 100%. In New York, analysis of a decade’s worth of crash statistics yielded a few surprises. It found there is an important link between the use of seat belts or car seats and fatal motor vehicle accidents.
What the statistics say
The CDC looked at state crash data ranging from 2009-2018. In that time, it found that more than 5,700 people in passenger vehicles died in motor vehicle crashes. It also looked at the most likely demographics to die in these types of crashes. It found that men were at more risk than women. Interestingly, people over age 55 are more likely to die in a crash than the leading age category at the national level, ages 21-34. However, that age bracket in New York was a close second.
The study also found just how crucial seat belt use is for saving lives. Using proper safety restraints cuts the risk of dying in a crash by half, at least. The good news is that 86% of people in New York say they always buckle up, which is just one percent lower than the national percentage. However, the CDC warns that this still means many people do not take the proper safety precautions.
What encourages people to change
There are effective methods for convincing people to use their seat belts that generally involve law enforcement. The CDC found that seat belt and child safety restraint laws of all kinds encourage greater use of safety equipment in both urban and rural communities. Punishment for violation that includes a high fine or points on an offender’s license also make a positive difference. Public safety awareness campaigns seem to result in improved compliance as well as education and incentive programs where appropriate.
Even with all of this knowledge, motor vehicle accidents will still happen and still take lives. If someone you care about died in a crash due to a negligent driver, you have available legal options, regardless of whether your loved one was properly restrained. You have every right to hold responsible parties accountable.