Baltimore Car Accident Lawyers Discuss Seat BeltsFebruary 17, 2017
Car safety has come a long way over the years with the development of new technology like blind spot detection, lane departure warnings, and self-driving cars. However, one of the most effective life-saving features that have been in every car for decades is the seat belt. In the event of a car accident, the seat belt keeps the passenger secured in the vehicle, helping to prevent severe, or potentially fatal injuries. However, for passengers who have a small physical frame or are frail due to age, the seat belt can actually pose a risk for injury.
Part of the problem is that seat belts are not tailored to fit different body types. Essentially they are a “one size fits all” safety feature. Considering the wide range of technological advances that have been made in the automotive industry, many believe that seat belts should be able to provide better protection for people with larger or smaller frames than the average person. An Associate Professor at the Ohio State University and Director of Injury Biomechanics Research Center believes that we should be able to develop a seat belt that does a better job of protecting smaller, older drivers.
For example, a 60-year-old, 5’4” female driver was wearing her seat belt when a Jeep backed into her vehicle. While her injuries would have been much worse had she not been wearing her seat belt, she still required a neck brace after the seat belt failed to keep her adequately restrained due to her size.
Crash Tests Needed to Determine Next Steps
In order to reach the goal of developing seat belts that automatically adjust to a passenger’s body type, crash tests will be necessary to determine the amount of force needed to protect individuals who are smaller, or more frail than the average driver. The amount of force needed to protect one driver, especially if he or she has a small physical frame, varies significantly. According to researchers, the same seat belt that protects one person could actually cause a fractured rib in another because of too much force.
While it is possible that some people can experience injuries that are seat belt related, they are still credited for saving close to close to 14,000 lives last year alone. Researchers urge everyone to continue to wear their seat belts regardless of body type of age. Proper seat belt use is also critical. Passengers should always make sure that the seat belt rests on the shoulder because it is stronger than the ribs. In addition, it provides a safe distance between the user and the air bag.
Maryland Car Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Obtain Maximum Compensation for Car Accident Victims
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a car accident, you may be eligible for financial compensation. Even if your seat belt was responsible for some of your injuries, it is likely that they would be much more severe had you not been wearing it at the time of your accident. The dedicated team of Baltimore car accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton will review the details of your case and determine who is responsible for your injuries. To set up a free consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent victims of car accidents in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Parkville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.