In today’s modern era, some safety features may seem so commonplace that they are not given a second thought. Often, that is the case with seat belts which have existed for roughly 150 years. Most drivers and passengers get into a car, put on their seat belts, and drive without hesitation. After years of riding in a vehicle, the use of a seat belt becomes automatic.
But according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, not enough motorists in Illinois are using their seat belts today, and this is leading to increased injuries and fatalities when those people are involved in a car accident.
The good news is that the vast majority of drivers and front seat passengers are using seat belts. Nationally, 86 percent of riders in the front of a car wear their seat belt and in the state of Illinois, 94 percent are using seat belts. But that means that on any given day, six percent of Illinois drivers and front seat passengers choose to forego a seat belt while they ride for reasons that are not clear. However, the lack of seat belt usage is tied to the 8,138 deaths that happened on American roads between 2003 and 2012 and therefore must be addressed until every single motorists uses seat belts while driving.
Experts report that the proper use of a seat belt can reduce the risk of serious injury or death in half and that the improved safety associated with seat belts is one of the reasons they are required by all front seat riders in every state except New Hampshire. In Illinois, the laws related to seat belt usage are considered primary which means that police officers have the power and authority to pull over drivers who are not complying with the laws. Not only are front seat riders required to use seat belts in Illinois but all passengers age 16 and over must use safety belts while young children are subjected to separate rules regarding child restraint systems and car seats.
If you are concerned about your safety in a vehicle, make sure you do everything you can to use your seat belt every time you drive. If a seat belt in your vehicle is not working correctly, have it serviced as soon as possible. Further, realize that it is important to use your seat belt in all situations and not just in your own car. This means that if you are riding with a friend, in a ride share like an Uber, in a taxi cab, or in a shuttle bus, use a seat belt whenever one is available. You never know when a car accident will happen so it is a good idea to be prepared for the worst in all circumstances.
If a car accident left you injured, you may be entitled to legal relief which can include payment for your damages. The personal injury law firm of Abels & Annes, P.C. represents injured victims in Chicago, Evanston, Naperville, Aurora, Rockford, Tinley Park, Joliet, Cicero, and other areas across Illinois. If an accident affected your life, call us toll free at (855) 529-2442 or locally at (312) 924-7575 and let one of our licensed lawyers provide you with a free case consultation without obligation. We have an experienced attorney standing by 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year to talk to you because we understand that you may need answers outside of normal business hours.
The legal team at Abels & Annes, P.C. prides itself on its focus on the clients it represents, from the minor cases to the most extreme. If we can help you, call us now or contact us online and let us get to work on your behalf.
Prior Blog Entry:
Distracted Driving: Lurking Danger for Chicago Drivers, Chicago Car Accident Lawyers Blog, published December 7, 2015.
Buckle Up: Restraint Use in Illinois, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, published December 2014.