For years, national, state, and local governments have tried to hammer home the argument that seat belts save lives. TV advertisements, community engagement, and even legal penalties have convinced most drivers to finally just buckle their seat belt, but not all of them. According to a survey by the Ohio Highway Patrol, Cuyahoga County (tied with Franklin County) leads the state in the number of fatalities caused by vehicle’s driver or passengers not wearing a seatbelt. 52 people died in this fashion between 2012 and 2014.
Rates of Death from Lack of Seatbelt High in Ohio
Also mentioned in the survey was the chilling fact that 50 percent of car crash fatalities occurred due to people in vehicles not wearing seat belts. Meaning, in other words, the deaths were completely preventable.
The findings did stipulate, however, that Ohio currently is seeing the highest rate of seat belt usage in the last 20 years, but there is still a long way to go to completely eliminate the high number of preventable deaths. The survey found that 85 percent of Ohioans wear seat belts, which is a good sign, but it also means that a full 15 percent of the state does not observe the seat belt law.
Seat belts were cleverly designed to distribute the force of an accident across the body’s strongest areas, preventing many internal injuries. Since the dissemination of seat belts to all cars and trucks in the country, countless lives have been saved. Unfortunately, no amount of statistics or scientific explanations can persuade some drivers to click in their seat belts.
Not Wearing a Seat Belt Can Affect Your Insurance Claim
If you needed another reason to wear a seat belt, here it is: the compensation you receive from an insurance claim may be reduced if you were not wearing a seat belt, even if the other driver was at fault for the accident.
For instance, if a driver rear ended you and your head hit the windshield because you were not wearing a seat belt, the insurance company may not have to pay you the full amount of damages because at least part of the injury could have been prevented.
What is known as the “seat belt defense” might derail your entire personal injury suit. In states like Ohio, you might only be able to sue for damages that would have occurred had you been wearing a seat belt. And because seat belts can make all the difference with regards to injuries suffered in an accident, this is a huge deal.
Contact an Experienced Cleveland Car Accident Attorney Today
If you or a loved one were involved in a car accident in the City of Cleveland or Cuyahoga County, do not hesitate to call a car accident attorney at the Ohio Car Accident Lawyers . We have extensive knowledge of the ins and outs of fighting a personal injury suit or negotiating with insurance companies to help you get the remediations that you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.