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Seat belt use could impact injuries and legal claim outcomes

When Rhode Island residents get in a hurry, they may not always take the proper steps to ensure their safety. In some cases, this may mean that you start up your vehicle without first putting on your seat belt. Once you realize your oversight, you certainly take the time to buckle up. However, even just a few moments without a seat belt could put you at serious risk.

If you find yourself in a car accident, having your seat belt on could prevent you from suffering severe or even fatal injuries. Additionally, whether you wore your seat belt could also play a role in the amount of compensation you could potentially receive if you chose to file a personal injury claim after a serious crash.

Specific groups at risk

It may come as little surprise that teenagers typically use their seat belts the least. If you have a teenage child, you may feel particularly concerned about his or her seat belt use. One statistic indicates that 58 percent of teen drivers who suffer fatal injuries in crashes do not have their seat belts on at the time the accidents occur.

It is also reported that individuals in the age range of 18 to 34 have a lower likelihood of wearing seat belts than those 35 or older. Additionally, men are apparently 10 percent less likely to utilize their seat belts than women.

Common excuses

Though using a seat belt could reduce the rate of injury and death by 50 percent, buckling up still is not the first instinct of many drivers and passengers  when they get into vehicles. Apparently, numerous teenagers offer the following excuses for why they chose not to buckle up:

  • Lack of comfort
  • Shortness of trip
  • Forgetfulness
  • Lack of understanding of the importance of seat belts
  • Uncool look of seat belts 

None of these excuses presents a valid reason for not wearing a seat belt. Furthermore, teenagers and older adults alike could all use similar excuses for their lack of safety, though the report did not provide specific responses from older individuals.

Aftermath of an accident

Though you or your child could suffer more severe injuries if you do not use a seat belt, serious injuries could still result even with seat belt use. If another person was responsible for your injury-causing accident, you may wish to consider filing a personal injury claim against that party for compensation.

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