Seat Belt Use Increases in MarylandNovember 26, 2019
Use of seat belts in Maryland seems to be up slightly, but there is more work to be done to increase the routine employment of these safety restraints. The 2019 Roadside Observation Seat Belt Survey released by the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) revealed that seat belt use is up only a fraction over the numbers observed last year. In 2019, 90.4 drivers and passengers on Maryland’s roads used seat belts, up just slightly from a rate of 90.3 in 2018.
The study was produced after compiling data gathered during roadside observations. The data included seat belt usage of 32,433 passenger vehicles and trucks throughout the state. While any increase is a move in the right direction, officials at MDOT continue to aim for 100 percent seat belt compliance.
Nationally, the rate for seat belt use was at 89.6 percent in 2018, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Seat belt use in passenger vehicles saved approximately 15,000 lives in 2017. Estimates calculate that another 2,500 people would have been saved if they had been wearing seat belts. The NHTSA revealed that 37,133 motor vehicle fatalities occurred in 2017, and that 47 percent of those killed were not wearing seat belts.
Seat Belt Safety Objectives
Wearing a seat belt can prevent you from being thrown from your vehicle upon impact in a high-speed crash; a horrifying scenario that usually results in catastrophic injury or death. Seat belts also work together with airbags. Both are designed to protect passengers from the force of a collision. The airbag cushions the blow, while the seat belt mitigates the force of the airbag that deploys with such intensity.
Proper Seat Belt Use
Seat belts save lives. The evidence is indisputable, and yet people continue to take risks. Even those who do wear their seat belts often compromise its effectiveness for preventing injury by using it only occasionally or improperly.
Seat belts should be worn every time your car is in motion. No matter how short your trip or how slow you drive, seat belts protect you from crashes caused by a number of factors, including the speed and behavior of other drivers.
Seat belts are designed to restrain people using straps that secure the areas of the body that can best withstand the intense force in a serious crash. The lap belt should be secured across the rigid support of the hips, not strapped across the soft tissue of the stomach, a position that puts internal organs at risk. The shoulder belt should secure the ribcage, another strong area of the body’s structure. The shoulder belt should be positioned across the center of your chest, comfortably away from your neck. The shoulder belt should never be behind your back or under your arm. Seat belt adjusters and extenders may be available from your car’s manufacturer to make them more comfortable and effective.
Baltimore Car Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Injured Car Accident Victims
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