There are a few simple steps that motorists can take on our roadways to help save lives in the event of a car accident in Chicago. Some of the simplest steps include wearing a seat belt and ensuring that all child passengers are properly buckled up as well.
According to a recent study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, some of the oldest safety precautions outweigh the benefits of new-car technology. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that there were more than 32,750 people killed because of traffic accidents in 2009 in the United States.
Our Chicago car accident attorneys understand that seat belts are one of the biggest lifesavers in the event of an accident. As a matter of fact, it’s reported that more than 12,700 lives were saved in 2009 because of the use of seat belts. Estimates conclude that nearly 3,700 child lives over the age of four could have been saved if parent’s would have properly buckled them in.
Seat belt usage is up a significantly from just 10 years ago. Many safe-driving advocates credit this increase to high-visibility enforcement efforts from law enforcement agencies and the increase in the number of states to enact primary seat belt laws. The national seat belt usage rate was about 85 percent in 2010.
Primary seat belt laws make it okay for officers to pull over a motorist simply for not wearing a seat belt. More than 30 states, including the District of Columbia currently have primary belt laws.
A parent can also help to save their child’s life by properly buckling them up during all trips in the car. The American Academy of Pediatrics recently made some changes to its child safety seat recommendations, asking parents to keep their children in rear-facing car seats until they’re 2-years-old or until they’ve reached the seat’s height and weight limitations. Once a child has exceeded the limits for their rear-facing car seat, parents are urged to make the switch to the front-facing car seat.
Unfortunately, properly fastening these seats to the vehicle’s seat is no easy task. As a matter of fact, more than 70 percent of parents misuse their child’s car seat. CarSafety.org offers you a list of instructions on how to properly buckle in your safety seat. The website also provides you with reviews on popular car seats.
Once your child has outgrown their current front-facing car seat, it’s time to advance them to a booster seat. Ideally, you want to place your child in a booster seat once they turn 13 or once they’re 4 feet 9 inches.
“Any restraint is better than none, but to be most effective, it’s important that the restraint fits both the child and the vehicle,” says Institute senior vice president for research Anne McCartt.
Some of the best prevention measures rest in the hands of drivers. Motorists are urged to remain cautious and focused at the wheel at all times. Safe driving habits and proper restraints can help to keep you, your family and other motorists safe in the event if a car accident.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, the personal injury attorneys and wrongful death lawyers at Abels & Annes offer free and confidential appointments to discuss your rights. Call (866) 99-ABELS. There is no fee unless you win.
More Blog Entries:
Windy City Drivers Among the Nation’s Worst — Chicago Car Accidents Often Result, Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, September 12, 2011
As the School Year Begins, Officials Focus on Preventing Teen Car Accidents in Illinois, Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, August 31, 2011