man fastening seat belt in carIn early June, a Denver teen died in a car accident on E-470 and 6th Avenue. Apparently the 15-year-old girl was not wearing a seatbelt.

State troopers report that a Nissan Sentra suddenly pulled out in front of another vehicle that could not avoid rear-ending the Sentra. The other vehicle was eventually pushed off the road and rolled twice before coming to rest on an embankment.

The 15-year-old-girl died from injuries sustained when she was ejected from the car as a result of not wearing her seatbelt. The driver and another passenger sustained minor injuries.

Seatbelt Safety

Approximately 33,000 people are killed every year in car accidents. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports car crashes are the number one cause of death for people age 4 and every age 11 through 27 in the United States.

At a 45 to 60 percent effectiveness rate, seat belts are the single most effective means of reducing the risk of death in a crash and since 1975, have saved nearly 300,000 lives in the United States alone.

According to NHTSA, the overall seat belt usage rate in 2013 was 87 percent. Research has determined that lap-shoulder belts, when used properly, reduce the risk of fatal injury to front-seat passenger car occupants by 45 percent and the risk of moderate-to-critical injury by 50 percent. In light trucks, seat belts reduce the risk of fatal injury by 60 percent and moderate-to-critical injury by 65 percent.

Further Reading: The Most Dangerous Times to Drive

Primary seat belt laws are highly effective in increasing seat belt use. These laws have been shown to increase a state’s seat belt use rate by an average of 10 percentage points resulting in a decrease of injuries and fatalities. Currently, there are 33 states and the District of Columbia that institute primary seat belt laws. The only state that has no seat belt law for people over age 18 is New Hampshire.

Seat belt laws in the other 16 states are secondarily enforced, which means law enforcement officers must stop the vehicle for another violation before they can issue a seat belt ticket. According to 2011 NHTSA data, states with primary enforcement laws averaged 90 percent safety belt use, while states with secondary enforcement laws averaged approximately 78 percent use. Certain high-risk groups -such as teens and impaired drivers- may have lower usage rates.

Buckling up is the most important precaution you can take to safeguard yourself in an accident because it helps keep you secure inside your vehicle. Seat belts are also your best defense against distracted, impaired, and aggressive drivers.

Contact Our Denver Car Accident Lawyers

Denver Car Accident Attorney Robert PaysingerCar accidents can cause catastrophic injuries that can result in permanent disability. If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident in Denver, it is important to contact an experienced Denver car accident lawyer immediately. Call Denver car accident attorney Robert Paysinger today to discuss your case. Our law firm offers FREE case consultations and can be reached at 303.279.0221.



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