Seat belts have been appearing in cars since the 1960s, but it wasn’t until 2006 that Kentucky law mandated that all drivers and passengers wear seat belts, imposing a fine should you fail to do so. You’ve heard that wearing a seat belt is important, but you might not realize how big a difference it makes between life and death when you’re in an accident. Read on for some facts about seat belt use.
- Seat belts can make the difference between whether you live or die.
Seat belts are the single most effective way to save lives in car accidents. Seat belts will reduce your risk of serious injury in a crash by 50% and reduce your risk of death by 45%. If you’re in a light truck, your risk of serious injury is reduced by up to 60%. Not wearing a seat belt increases your chances of being thrown from the vehicle, which multiplies your chances of being killed by 25 times. While air bags provide additional safety from injury, they are not a substitute for seat belt use and cannot on their own prevent as many injuries as can a belt and airbag together.
- Contrary to a pervasive myth, seat belts almost never make you less safe.
Everyone has one stubborn friend who asserts that, if you’re in a car accident while wearing a seat belt, you might end up being more badly injured than if you weren’t, since the belt could prevent you from escaping a wreck. However, the percentage of crashes that involve a car being submerged in water, or otherwise involving a type of accident where a seat belt could be a liability, is less than one half of 1%.
- Wearing a seat belt will also keep your passengers safe.
Not only will you be saved from being thrown from the vehicle, your passengers will be saved from injury by you wearing a seatbelt. In a crash, a body that’s moving freely through the vehicle can cause serious injuries to other passengers.
- If you or any of your passengers fail to wear a seat belt while you’re driving, you could be pulled over.
Kentucky has a “primary enforcement” law regarding seat belt use. This means that cops can pull you over solely for failing to wear a seat belt, and impose a fine of $25 for failing to wear one. If you have not secured a child under 7 in a car seat, or under 57” tall in a booster seat, you may be fined up to $50.
If you’ve been injured in a crash as a result of the careless or reckless behavior of another driver and want to ensure your injuries are compensated fully, contact the experienced Lexington personal injury attorney Todd W. Burris at 859-252-2222.