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South Florida Traffic Safety – Seat Belts Save Lives Close to Home

A lot of motorists might think it’s annoying to wear a seat belt. It might be uncomfortable for some and it might even wrinkle your clothes. But think about being injured from a car accident — an injury that could have been prevented with a seat belt.

According to Health Canal, most driving is done locally — and most motorists don’t wear their seat belts during these local trips. Yet we see most of our accidents occurring during these local trips.

Our Vero Beach car accident lawyers understand that motorists are more likely to buckle up when they’re taking trips. According to a recent study from Accident Analysis and Prevention, drivers don’t want to buckle up for those short trips. And that’s not good news when you consider that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that fatalities from car accidents could be reduced by close to 50 percent if we were all buckling up during every car ride.

So who’s buckling up?

According to research, a trip at about 30 miles per hour only saw about 70 percent of motorist seat belt usage. When that speed was upped to 50 miles per hour, seat belt usage increased to about 90 percent.

Additional Study Findings:

-Younger women were more likely to buckle up than women over the age of 40.

-Motorists who had achieved a higher level of education were more likely to buckle in.

-Those who only buckled in on occasions were more likely to be aggressive drivers.

-Drivers in the infrequent-user group had an at-fault crash/near crash rate approximately double that of the other two groups.

-Those who buckled in more often took a lot fewer driving trips than those who didn’t buckle in much.

Officials aren’t done though. The Strategic Highway Research Program will be looking at seat belt usage from 2,000 vehicles.

Who’s most likely to ride unbuckled?

-Intoxicated drivers


-Pickup truck drivers

-Male drivers

-Nighttime drivers

The truth of the matter is that seat belts have been able to save over 75,000 lives from 2004 to 2008, according to the National Safety Council (NSC).

In the state of Florida, children under the age of 3 are required to be secured in a federally approved child-restraint seat. Child passengers ages 4 and 5 are required to be secured by either a federally approved child restraint seat or safety belt. In addition to buckling in children, all passengers in the front seat must wear a seat belt as well as all passengers under the age of 18.

Regardless of law, or of any statistics, you want to make sure you’re buckled in during each and every car ride for your own safety. This is one decision and one move that could wind up saving your life. Start making it a habit and buckle in each time you sit down in a vehicle.

Call Freeman, Mallard, Sharp & Gonzalez — 1-800-561-7777 — if you or your child has been injured in a car accident. Call today for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights.

More Blog Entries:

Child Passenger Safety Week Kicks Off, Parents Listen Up!, Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Attorney Blog, September 19, 2012

Three Children Dead on Turnpike in South Florida Car Accident, Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Attorney Blog, April 16, 2011

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