The amount of fatal automobile crashes in the United States is at an all time low. However, according to recent initial projections by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there was still an approximate 32,788 car accidents resulting in death last year. For that reason, the NHTSA issued a number of recommendations to officials and policy makers as part of their latest Status Report publication to highlight safety measures that save lives. Below are summaries of a few of the key suggestions.
- Mandated, primary laws for seat belts and helmets: Seat belts are the single most efficient and effective way to prevent and reduce injuries in vehicle accidents. An approximate 12,713 lives were saved by seat belts in 2009, and another 3,688 could have been saved if every vehicle passenger above five years old had worn one, said the agency. They also stated that in states with primary laws, highway officers can pull over and ticket a vehicle solely for not wearing seat belts, resulting in higher compliance.
- Little kids ride in reverse: Every child under the age of two should ride in rear facing seat restraints (or until they surpass the weight or height restraints of their seat). After that, the child should travel in seat restraints that face forward for as long as viable, depending on the restrictions of the seat, followed by booster chairs that position the belts properly. This should continue until adult seat belts fit correctly, which typically occurs when the child grows to four feet and nine inches in height. Additionally, children should travel in the back seat until at least 13 years of age.
While government and state mandated safety initiatives are both crucial and helpful in preventing highway tragedies, the ultimate result lies in the ability of individuals to follow those rules and also govern their own driving behaviors in a sound fashion. If you or a family member has been injured in an Oklahoma car accident that you believe was the fault of another driver, contact the traffic accident attorneys in Oklahoma City with Maples Law Firm. Call 1-888-226-6159 for a complimentary consultation.