According to the Sun Sentinel, Representative Irv Slosberg, D-Boca Raton, has been a long-time advocate for safe driving habits. The wave of advocacy came after his teenage daughter was killed in a 1996 car accident. His daughter was reportedly not wearing a seat belt during the time of the accident.
There are a few simply steps that all motorists can take to help keep vehicle occupants safe in the event of a car accident in West Palm Beachor elsewhere in South Florida. Using a seat belt and properly restraining children in a car seat may be two of the most beneficial ways of prevent injury during a traffic collision. A recently released report from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) highlights just how effective these preventative measures can be.
Our car accident attorneys in Delray Beach, Lantana and Fort Pierce understand that while seat belt usage is at an all-time high in the state of Florida, nearly 20 percent of motorists are still cruising along our roadways without wearing a seat belt. The IIHS reports there were nearly 33,000 people killed as a result of traffic accidents in 2009 in the U.S. The Institute also reports that nearly 13,000 adult motorists and another 3,500 child motorists under the age of 6 could have survived car accidents in 2009 if they were properly belted in.
Right now, there are more than 30 states that follow primary seat belt laws. This means that a vehicle can be pulled over by a police officer if all the occupant is doing wrong is not wearing a seat belt. States that enact primary seat belt laws typically have a higher average seat belt usage rate.
Law enforcement officers across the nation credit the 2011 “Click It or Ticket” campaign for the record-high average of seat belt usage. Without laws and high-visibility enforcement efforts, motorists would be less likely to buckle up.
According to the Florida Department of Motor Vehicles:
-All passengers that are riding in the front seat of a vehicle must wear a seat belt.
-All vehicle occupants under the age of 18 are required to wear a seat belt.
-All seat belt laws apply to vans, pickups and car that are driven on Florida roadways.
-Children under the age of 4 are required to be buckled in a federally approved child seat.
-Children that are 4- and 5-years-old are required to be buckled in a federally approved child restraint seat or seat belt.
Not wearing a seat belt and failing to properly restrain a child in your vehicle not only increases your risks of injury during a traffic accident, but it can result in a ticket. In Florida, you’ll get a $30 ticket for your first violation for not wearing your seat belt. If you’re busted with a child that is not properly restrained in your vehicle you could wind up with a $60 violation. You could even face child endangering charges.
As cars become more and more advanced with safety technology, it still remains true that seat belts are among the most effective ways to stay safe in the event of an accident. Let’s all do our part to bring down the number of fatal traffic accidents in the state and buckle up when we venture out in our vehicles.
If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident in South Florida, contact Freeman, Mallard, Sharp and Gonzalez LLC. Serving clients in Fort Lauderdale, Port St. Lucie, West Palm Beach and the Fort Pierce areas. Call today for a free consultation. 1-800-529-2368.
Families must take control when seniors hold the keys, by Gary Stein, Sun Sentinel
More Blog Entries:
Drowsy Drivers a Bigger Cause of Car Accidents in Port St. Lucie than Statistics Show, Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Attorney Blog, August 31, 2011
West Palm Beach Teen Car Accidents Can be Minimized by Gaining Driver Knowledge and Driving Experience, Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Attorney Blog, August 29, 2011