Buckling Up a Lot Less Trouble Than Coping with Injury

When you get into your car, it takes a split second to buckle your seat belt. Unfortunately, it also takes just a split second to get involved in a car accident. If you’ve taken the time to buckle up, you’re likely to fare a lot better if your vehicle is involved in a crash.

Yet, despite how easy it is to take the steps to save your own life, there are a surprising number of drivers who make the choice not to buckle up. 602535_seatbelt.jpg

In fact, according to Health Canal, around 15 percent of drivers and passengers who sit in the front seat of a car do not regularly buckle their seatbelts. Our Greenville accident attorneys know that drivers tend to buckle up more for longer trips than they do for shorter ones. Unfortunately, this isn’t good enough and drivers need to buckle up every single time they get into a car if they want to keep themselves safe.

Drivers on Shorter Trips Often Neglect to Buckle
Health Canal reported on a recent study conducted by researchers at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute. The study was focused on the factors that affect a driver’s decision about whether to buckle up. Buckling a seat belt can decrease the risk of becoming involved in a fatal car accident by 45 percent, so it is surprising that there are so many drivers who refrain from putting their seat belt on every time. Researchers wanted to learn more.

The study attempted to identify why occasional seat-belt wearers didn’t buckle up every time. A total of 100 cars were studied, with 108 primary and 299 secondary drivers. The driving of those in the study was monitored over the course of a year and data was collected from 150,000 driving trips.

The results shouldn’t come as that big of a surprise. For example, the study revealed that drivers tend to buckle up for longer trips and/or trips on high speed roads at greater frequency than they do on shorter trips on local roads. When the trip had an average speed of 30 miles per hour, for example, 72.7 percent of occasional bucklers (someone who buckles up sometimes but not all the time) would have their seat belt on. However, when the trip had an average speed of 50 miles per hour, a much higher percentage- 89 percent of occasional bucklers- would have their seat belts on.

Researchers believe road type was the primary factor in this difference, not speed limits. Data from a GPS sensor was used to confirm that theory and the GPS Information did show that occasional belt users buckle up more on interstates, regardless of speed, when compared with secondary roads.

Unfortunately, many crashes happen not on long trips on highways but on the local roads that are traveled most frequently. Drivers, therefore, should be sure to buckle up for any trip even if they are just going up the street. While it may seem inconvenient at first to have to buckle every time, the inconvenience is nothing compared to the hardship that can occur in situations where you get into a crash and get seriously hurt because you have no seat belt on.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, contact the Greenville injury lawyers at the Lee Law Offices today by calling 800-887-1965.

Additional Resources:
Back Injuries Common After Car Accidents – NASCAR’s Denny Hamlin Suffers Compression Fraction, North Carolina Accident Lawyer Blog, March 27, 2013

Dog Bite Injuries in Carolinas a Spring Risk, North Carolina Accident Lawyer Blog, March 31, 2013

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