According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 84 percent of adult drivers and 82 percent of front-seat passengers wore seatbelts in the U.S. in 2011. Seatbelts play an essential role in maintaining the safety of a vehicle’s passengers in the event of a crash or collision. Unfortunately, car accidents remain the leading cause of death for individuals between the ages of 5 and 34. In response to the growing number of car accidents that occur each year, automobile manufacturers have continued their efforts to improve the overall safety of their vehicles.
Seatbelts are one of the most frequently used safety features inside of a car. Due to the many benefits of these safety devices, minimal attention is often given to seatbelt injuries. Although seatbelts certainly provide protection, in many cases there are also a number of instances when seatbelts actually harm the individuals who are wearing them.
The first documented use of a seatbelt was in 1983; currently, the usage rate for safety belts for both drivers and passengers is six times that of its initial usage rate. Since seatbelts are designed to protect occupants or the driver from injuries in the event of a motor vehicle collision, many people often have difficulty understanding the threat of seatbelt injuries. If you or someone you love has suffered harm due to a seatbelt during a car crash, the Fernandez Firm is available to help guide you throughout the legal process.
An auto accident injury occurs every 15 seconds in the U.S. and can happen for several reasons, including seatbelts. Due to the constant attention placed on the positive attributes of seatbelts, it may be difficult to understand exactly how these features can serve as a detriment. The following are several important facts pertaining to seatbelts and seatbelt injuries:
- The most common cause of seatbelt injuries is improper wear or use
- Combination lap-and-diagonal belts and diagonal belts often lead to injuries of the sternum, ribs, and upper abdomen
- An internal injury is present in 30 percent of crash cases if a skin abrasion is present on the abdomen, chest, or neck
- Lap seatbelts commonly cause spine injuries
Symptoms of a Seatbelt Injury
One of the most terrifying characteristics of a seatbelt injury is that it is often difficult to recognize, especially immediately following a collision. Each year in the U.S., seatbelts have saved thousands of lives in accidents, but there have also been many reports in which seatbelts injure the driver or passengers. Since many seatbelt injuries may take several days to appear, those who have been involved in a collision should note the following symptoms of harm:
- Stiff neck
- Breathing problems
- Abdominal pain
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney Today
If you or someone you love has sustained a seatbelt injury and you would like to learn more about your legal rights, please fill out the case evaluation form on this page or call the Fernandez Firm at (800) 222-8163. Over the years, our personal injury attorneys have successfully handled thousands of claims throughout Florida, and our goal is to work to help you to understand your options following an accident or injury. There is no cost to speak with us, and you will not be obligated to pay any of our legal expenses unless we are able to make a recovery on your behalf. For more information, contactthe Fernandez Firm as soon as you believe that you have a case.