A recent article published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has reported that seat belt usage in the United States has reached its highest level since the Federal government began regular national surveys in 1994. The usage of belts was said to be at a record-breaking 90.1 percent, which is a significant increase from 88.5 percent in 2015. The data was collected from the only survey that provides nationwide probability-based observed data on seat belt use in the United States, the National Occupant Protection Use Survey (NOPUS).
Each year about 33,000 people are fatally injured in a motor vehicle crash. With 45 to 60 percent effectiveness, seat belts are the single most effective means of reducing the risk of dying in an accident and have reportedly saved nearly 300,000 lives since 1975. In 2014 alone, seat belts saved an estimated 12,802 lives with only 87 percent of drivers wearing them. Texas was shown to have 91% of drivers using seat belts.
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States have done their part to considerably decrease the number of fatalities in auto accidents by increasing the awareness of seat belt safety. According to AAA, laws are very effective in increasing seat belt usage. States with primary seat belt laws report an average of a 10 percent increase in seat belt usage (90%) resulting in a decrease of injuries and fatalities.
Other states have a secondary law in which police officers must stop the vehicle for another violation before they can issue a seat belt ticket. These states report an average of 79% seat belt usage. New Hampshire is the only state that does not have any seat belt law for those over the age of 18.
If you have been injured due to the negligence of another, please contact the office of Herrman & Herrman to speak to an experienced lawyer. Call 361-882-4357 to schedule a free consultation today!