Law enforcement, government, and companies invest an incredible amount of resources into keeping our roads safe. Still, accidents inevitably happen. Regardless of who or what is at fault, one thing is for sure; Florida’s seat belt laws save lives when they are adhered to.
The fact remains that seat belts save lives and can prevent catastrophic injury after an auto accident, but only when put to use. The importance and benefits of seat belts cannot be overstated or underestimated. In the event of a car crash, a person wearing a seat belt has a higher chance of survival. This is because when used properly, seat belts keeps the individual from being ejected from the vehicle, thrown against other passengers, or from hitting the steering wheel or the windshield. In addition, the driver remains safely behind the wheel where they can control the vehicle.
Seat belt statistics in Florida
Statistics have shown that most people that died on Florida roads chose not to wear a seat belt prior to the car crash. According to Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, on average, 43 percent of those who were killed in crashes were not wearing seat belts. Moreover, the simple action of buckling a seat belt statistically increases your chances of surviving a crash and avoiding serious injury by nearly 50 percent.
Florida’s seat belt laws
Florida law mandates that all passengers and drivers in motor vehicles use seat belts. There are a few limited exceptions to this law including the use of farm equipment, some buses, and for individuals with a medical condition that would make seat belt use dangerous, the latter of which requires a letter from a doctor.
The Dori Slosberg and Katie Marchetti Safety Belt Law (effective June 30, 2009) mandates front seat passengers to wear seat belts. In addition, all passengers under 18 years of age must wear a seat belt or in the case of young children, be restrained by a car seat. The driver can be charged with a seat belt violation if these requirements are not met.
There is no substitute for buckling your seat belt
Even if you are driving a short distance or at a low speed and an accident happens, it can cause damages and injury because there’s no guaranteeing what force another vehicle might strike your car. In fact, a study from Progressive Insurance showed that most accidents occur within five miles from home.
The bottom line is you can never be too old, too cool or too busy to buckle up. As a personal injury law firm, we’ve seen just how devastating auto accidents can be time and time again. Be safe; always wear your seat belt.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident, it is wise to speak to an auto accident attorney as soon as possible. They may be able to assist you in recovering damages, but also in speaking with insurance companies.
Buckle up Florida, it’s the law! – Florida Highway safety and motor vehicles. Retrieved January 10, 2017, from Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, https://flhsmv.gov/safety-center/vehicle-safety/buckle-up-florida-its-the-law/
Claims Survey Finds There’s No Place Like Home – For Vehicle Crashes. (2002, May 06). Retrieved January 11, 2017, from https://progressive.com/newsroom/article/2002/may/fivemiles/