Why Is It Important?
A study performed in 2017 stated that at least 2,500 people who lost their lives in a vehicle collision that year could have been saved if they were using a seatbelt. That means a lot of lives would not have to have been lost unnecessarily. The people involved in these accidents likely didn’t see not wearing a seat belt as a big deal. Maybe they thought the trip was short or that they could just take off the restraint for a moment. The study shows that young adults are at greater risk, as over half of the accident deaths due to lack of seatbelt use in 2017 were young adults aged 18 to 34. Statistics also show that men are more likely to drive without wearing seatbelts.
Seatbelt Safety Guidelines
Of course, there are many contributing factors regarding all forms of accidents, but there is just one that can have a huge impact on making sure you stay alive after a crash. The proper use of a seatbelt can often help you from dying suddenly in a vehicle accident, regardless of other circumstances in the incident. You must have properly functioning seatbelts for everyone in the vehicle, including the driver and passengers.
Children’s car seats can be a bit complicated regarding the use of a seatbelt, but these are even more important to safety. You should always take the time to read the instructions on the car seat prior to installing it. Make sure that it is not expired. You should then install the car seat carefully following manufacturer directions and use all anchors available. You should tighten the straps to prevent the seat from sliding or coming loose. When placing the child in the car seat, the straps should be snug, but not too tight, and resting over the creases of the sternum and hip.
Seatbelt Laws in Utah
It is likely that you have noticed billboards saying “Click it or Ticket” that are encouraging you to use seatbelts while in the car. The seat belt laws in Utah apply to and affect all people on the roadway, including passengers and drivers. These laws require that everyone driving in the car must wear a seat belt. Our firm of Fisher Injury Lawyers often sees severe injuries that are the result of car crashes and want to help others avoid these injuries. Seat belts do save lives. Statistics show that over 100 lives are saved annually because of proper seat belt usage.
What to Know About Utah Seatbelt Laws
It is stated in the Motor Vehicle Safety Belt Usage Act that all drivers of a vehicle have to “wear a properly adjusted and fastened safety belt.” It also specifies that all young children under 8 years of age have to be placed in some type of child restraint device, such as a car seat. Everyone riding in the car, despite their age, has to be wearing a seat belt. It is the legal responsibility of the driver to ensure that all passengers 16 years old or younger are wearing a seat belt.
This law means that the driver can possibly get a ticket if a younger passenger is not wearing a restraint in the car. If you want to find out more about the law, the full text of Utah seat belts laws is available.
Why Do I Need to Wear a Seatbelt?
Legally, using a seat belt can ultimately help you avoid potential tickets and fines. You could be given a $45 citation if you are caught not wearing a seat belt. If the citation was related to a child, it can be waived if you provide evidence that you bought a child restraint device, such as a car seat.
Even if it is not required under law, using a seat belt is still a very good idea. If you make sure everyone in the vehicle is wearing a seat belt, you can save lives. On top of being injured, unrestrained passengers could become projectiles in a collision. This could also injure or kill others who are in the vehicle. 86 people lost their lives in 2016 because passengers or drivers were not using their seat belts.
What Are the Risks of Not Using a Seatbelt?
- Increased Costs. Vehicle collisions can cost much more when riders are not using seat belts. Injuries can be more serious, and this leads to lengthier hospital visits and more expensive medical costs. Wearing a seat belt does not entirely prevent injuries, but it does help to minimize potential damage both to your body and your finances. These crashes can also cause an increase in car insurance premiums.
- Legal Outcome. Your personal injury case can be affected if you do not wear a seat belt. If it can be established that not wearing a seat belt had a significant contribution to your injuries, it will be difficult to recover a larger settlement in your case. Utah is known as a “comparative negligence” state, meaning that to recover damages in an injury case, you have to be seen as less at-fault for the accident overall. Even if you are less at-fault, failure to use a seat belt can result in you being seen as somewhat to blame for injuries sustained. Simply put, if you are 20% at fault for the injuries, you will only regain about 80% of total damages.
Vehicle Collisions in Utah
Seatbelts can have a huge effect on the outcome of your accident or injury. 30% of all vehicle fatalities in Utah from 2012-2016 were due to unrestrained drivers, with 377 deaths in total. There are a host of other reasons that can cause you to be harmed in a car accident. You need to get the help you need after a crash in order to get your life back on track.
The expert lawyers at Siegfried & Jensen are here to help you regain lost damages after a car crash. Our firm has a 97% success rate, with a combined total of 35,000 cases. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a terrible car crash, call us at (801) 845-9000 to discuss your claim with an experienced Utah car wreck attorney.