3 important facts: Seat belts and car crashes

On Behalf of | Jun 14, 2024 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

Seat belts have been a mandatory vehicle feature for decades. Automotive manufacturers have to install restraint systems for their vehicles to be street-legal. Motorists also need to wear their seatbelts and ensure that passengers wear them for optimal safety.

Misinformation about vehicle restraints and a general opposition to rules could lead to people making mistakes when they drive. Anyone who regularly travels in the vehicle or who gets into a crash likely needs to know the three facts about seat belts below.

Seat belts statistically save lives

There are some people who might claim that seat belts are just as dangerous as they are beneficial. However, there is a clear correlation between consistent use of restraints in vehicles and decreased risk of dying in crashes. Seat belt use can also limit the likelihood of a catastrophic injury. The best practice when driving or riding in a motor vehicle is to wear a seat belt every time regardless of how far someone travels or how well they know the route.

Seat belts can cause injuries

Although seat belt use is crucial for safety, restraints can also lead to injury. In high-speed or unusually violent collisions, seat belts can cause traumatic injuries to the chest or abdomen. The most common injuries include scrapes, bruises and internal bleeding. Those involved in high-speed collisions may need to see a doctor to rule out the possibility of an injury caused by a seat belt.

Seat belt use does not affect fault

While it is technically a traffic violation to fail to wear a seat belt in Connecticut, that failure does not cause a crash. It only worsens the potential consequences of a wreck. Someone who gets hurt in a collision can still pursue compensation if they are not to blame for the crash itself. Modified comparative negligence rules allow people to file personal injury lawsuits even if a portion of the blame for an incident falls to them.

Drivers and passengers who know the truth about seat belt use and its impact on crash outcomes can more effectively safeguard their interests. For example, they may have an easier time seeking compensation if they know the rules that apply after a car crash. Holding another party accountable for a motor vehicle collision can help people reduce the financial impact of any injuries they develop because of a wreck.