Motor vehicle accidents are the largest source of all injury fatalities in the United States. On average, a person is injured in an accident every nine seconds; every 13 minutes one of those injuries is fatal; and every hour a death is because the driver or passenger failed to buckle up. Neglecting to use a seat belt still plays a larger role in highway deaths than any other single road safety-related violation. In Oklahoma, it’s mandated by primary law that all vehicle occupants 13 years of age and older wear seat beats; and it’s highly advised that all vehicle occupants buckle up.
Data indicates that seat belts are the most successful safety tools in motor vehicles today, calculated to save more than 10,000 lives annually. More than 60 percent of vehicle accident fatalities in 1996 were due to a failure to buckle up. If 90 percent of citizens used seat belts, according to studies, more than 132,000 injuries and 5,500 deaths could be stopped each year.
There has been a significant and steady rise in Oklahoma seat belt usage since a primary seat belt law was enacted November 1, 1997. In 2010, a Seat Belt Observational Survey showed increase of 1.7 percentage points from last year to 85.9 percent in Oklahoma (up from 84.2 percent in 2009).
However, increased efforts in education and enforcement are still crucial. As reported by The Enid News Eagle, a male teenager from Shawnee was injured August 12 in a car crash. According to a report, the 17-year-old motorist fell asleep while driving, veered off the road into a bridge abutment, and was ejected approximately 40 feet from the vehicle on impact. He was not wearing a seat belt, the report said.
If you have been injured in a car crash, contact the car accident attorneys in Oklahoma City at The Maples Law Firm for help. Call 1-888-226-6159 for a free case review.