Part of the appeal of living in Houma is how, despite how the city has grown in recent decades, you are only a short drive away from peaceful countryside or unspoiled wilderness. Even if you learned to drive in the city, you probably know someone who learned to drive on Louisiana’s country roads, probably before they were legally old enough to get a driver’s license and perhaps taught by relatives who had learned the same way. The freedom of driving on rural roads, far from traffic lights is one of life’s simple pleasures and one that is easily accessible to many people in Louisiana. It is associated, however, with the dangerous habit of riding without a seat belt. In the wake of the passage of Alabama’s new seat belt law, an editorial in Houma Today urges Louisiana lawmakers, drivers, and passengers to take seat belt safety more seriously. It could make all the difference if you are a passenger in a car accident.
Seat Belts Are the Safest Safety Feature
Every year, cars come out with new features to make them even safer than the previous generation of cars, but while airbags reduce injuries and rear-facing cameras prevent accidents, seatbelts are still the car feature that makes the biggest difference in preventing fatalities and serious injuries in car wrecks. The Houma Today editorial published a reality check in the form of some scary statistics.
- A study by the Center for Advanced Public Safety at the University of Alabama found that, out of 743 fatal accidents in Alabama in 2018, 366 of them involved people not wearing seat belts.
- People without seat belts are more likely to be thrown from the car during an accident; the chances of dying from being thrown from a car are one in five.
- Even if you are not thrown from the car, every accident includes a 1 in 24 risk of death if you are not wearing a seatbelt. If you are wearing one, the chances are 999 out of 1,000 that you will survive.
- Speeding and drunk driving also increase the risk of accidents, wrecks, injuries, and fatalities. Not wearing a seat belt is positively correlated with both of these risky driving behaviors.
- Many accidents involving drivers and passengers without seat belts take place on rural roads. These roads carry an additional risk of serious injury because of the presence of many trees near the road.
- The penalty for not wearing a seat belt while driving in Louisiana is only a $25 fine, a much lighter penalty than that for other, less dangerous actions.
Contact Patrick Yancey About Car Accident Cases
Even if you were not wearing a seat belt when you were injured in a car accident, you might still be able to recover damages. Contact the Law Office of Patrick H. Yancey in Houma, Louisiana to discuss your case.