You might expect a website called Jalopnik to be a place for people to nerd out about all the newest and coolest features of cars, but the folks at Jalopnik tend to prioritize practicality and safety over all the fancy stuff that drives up the prices of cars, no matter how impressive that fancy stuff looks. Andrew Collins once ranted on the Jalopnik site about how heads up devices (HUDs) create exactly the kinds of driving distractions that they claim to prevent. More recently, Mercedes Streeter exposed the fallacy of some drivers’ refusal to wear seat belts. The truth is that seat belts are effective at preventing serious injuries in traffic collisions, but they cannot protect you from other people’s poor judgment. If you have suffered serious injuries in a car accident, even if you were wearing a seat belt, contact a Houma car accident lawyer.
Common Sense is a Safety Feature
As you read this blog post, engineers somewhere are developing safety features to make cars safer, and in fact, vehicle safety has come a long way since you first got a driver’s license. Rear-facing cameras and lane assist technology are just two features that have become widespread in recent years and have prevented many accidents. It would take a truly genius idea, however, to develop an invention that improves outcomes in a collision as much as the humble seat belt. Even airbags, which are so effective at reducing injuries that most vehicles today include them for drivers and passengers, are less effective when the rider is not wearing a seat belt.
According to Streeter, public opinion plays a big role in whether or not people choose to wear seat belts; she presents footage from the 1980s of drivers balking at newly instituted seat belt laws. Today, the evidence is overwhelming that seat belts save lives. Only 14% of vehicle occupants are without a seatbelt at any given time, but fully half of all traffic fatality victims were not wearing seatbelts at the time of the collision.
Despite this, seatbelt use declined during the COVID-19 pandemic, even as the rate of traffic accidents increased. Perhaps it was due to the sense of “why bother?” that prevailed during the long months of idleness when everything was closed and there was nothing to do but drive past the bayous. If no one cared whether you were wearing shoes, and there was no difference between the pants you wear to sleep and the pants you wear while driving, it was easy enough not to bother with wearing a seat belt.
Contact the Law Office of Patrick H. Yancey About Car Accidents
It is possible to recover damages in a car accident lawsuit whether or not you were wearing a seat belt. A car accident lawyer can help you negotiate for a better settlement from the insurance company or take steps toward filing a lawsuit, if appropriate. Contact the Law Office of Patrick H. Yancey in Houma, Louisiana to see if you have grounds for a lawsuit.