We often talk about the risks that drivers face for fatal car accidents in Rock Hill and elsewhere. But what also needs to be focused on are the risks that passengers face as well.
Passengers have absolutely no control on the driver's actions behind the wheel and fall prey to those decisions. According to recently-released statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there were nearly 22,200 occupants of passenger vehicles who were killed in car accidents in 2010. Of these passengers who were killed, nearly half of them were wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident.
Statistics reveal that slightly more than 50 percent of them were unrestrained at the time of the accident.
Although the rate of seat belt usage has been rising in recent years, we're still losing far too many passengers on our roadways. Sometimes a seat belt isn't enough to save a passenger from the impact of a collision. Frequently, they save lives and reduce the risks of injuries.
Our Rock Hill car accident lawyers understand that passengers between the ages of 25- and 34-years-old made up the largest group of those killed on the road. There were close to 3,500 people in this age group who died as passengers in a motor vehicle accident. These scenarios continue to be the leading cause of death for this age group. That's why we're asking all passengers to be responsible and to be proactive. We're asking you to speak up if you witness a driver engaging in dangerous behaviors behind the wheel. If they're driving while distracted, if they're disregarding road laws or if they're driving with an unclear mind, we're asking passengers to speak up!
After the 25- to 34-year-old age group, the group of passengers who accounted for the second highest number of these fatalities was the 21- to 24-years-old age group.
It's important for parents and guardians to make sure that children are buckled up during every car ride, too. In 2010, there were close to 250 passengers who were under the age of 4 who were killed in motor vehicle accidents. In these accidents, close to 60 of these victims were not buckled in by a driver or another adult.
Men accounted for more than half of the passenger fatalities for the entire year. Most of them weren't wearing a seat belt during the time of collision either.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), children over the age of 6-years-old must wear a seat belt in all seats. If you're busted without your seat belt, you could not only face a fine of $25, but you also face alarming risks for death in the event of an accident.