Since the early 2000’s, the use of seat belts has significantly increased annually. According to the National Occupant Protection Use Survey (NOPUS), in 2017 89.7 percent of people were wearing their seat belts regularly. The National Occupant Protection Use Survey is the only survey which shows probability based observed data on the use of seat belts throughout the nation. This survey is orchestrated by the National Center for Statistics and Analysis of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Along with this increase in seat belt use, there has been a decrease in the percentage of unrestrained passenger vehicle fatalities in the daytime. It is also statistically noted that in states where there are seat belt laws, the number of fatalities due to being unrestrained is significantly lower than in states with little to no seat belt laws.
How Not Wearing a Seat Belt Can Hurt Your Case
After a car accident occurs the injuries that may accumulate have the potential to be severe. When making a claim for the injuries that you have sustained, one of the big points of contention is the use, or lack of use, of a seat belt. The failure to wear a seat belt may make it difficult to determine who is at fault during an accident. With the defendant being found at fault for the accident, if it is proven the plaintiff was not wearing a seat belt during a jury may say that he or she is also at fault. The absence of a seat belt makes it hard to determine if the injuries were caused by the accident itself or from the lack of use of a seat belt.
Texas Seat Belt Laws
In Texas, ALL occupants of the vehicle must be wearing a seat belt. Children 8 years and under must be in a child safety seat unless they are four feet nine inches tall. The marketing slogan, “Click it or Ticket” has become a well-known statement in Texas which is important to know because fines can be anywhere from $25 to $250.
Wearing a seat belt may save your life. The failure to obey this Texas Law can lead to not only large traffic fines, but a difficult road when trying to file an injury claim after an accident. According to TxDOT, “Wearing your seat belt can increase your survival rate during an accident by 45-60%”. In the event that you are the victim of an automobile accident, make sure to seek proper medical attention and contact a Personal Injury Attorney.