South Carolina is among the many states that have primary seatbelt laws, meaning that drivers can be pulled over and cited for failing to wear a seatbelt.
Despite the law – and the fact that wearing seatbelts can prevent serious injuries and deaths in the event of a crash, however, only about 86 percent of roadway travelers in South Carolina are compliant with seatbelt laws, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
To encourage more South Carolinas to buckle up, below are some of the most important facts to understand about the benefits of buckling up.
The Facts about Buckling Up
- Wearing a seatbelt is the single most effective way to protect oneself when a crash occurs – In fact, when vehicle occupants are properly buckled up, their risk of sustaining a serious or life-threatening injuries (should a traffic crash happen) drops by 45 to 50 percent (depending on where they are sitting in the vehicle).
- Failure to wear seatbelts contributes to more traffic deaths than any other driving behavior – This is a shocking fact, as it means that failing to buckle up kills more people than drunk driving, distracted driving, speeding and other negligent driving behaviors that often contribute to crashes, injuries and fatalities.
- Each year, seatbelts save about 13,000 lives in the U.S. – And that is at a current national seatbelt usage rate of 84 percent. Interestingly, however, some research has indicated that, if 9 in every 10 motorists wore seatbelts (i.e., if seatbelt usage was at least 90 percent among U.S. drivers), about 1,600 lives could be saved and about 22,000 injuries could be prevented in the U.S. every year. In South Carolina alone, 90 percent seatbelt usage could save at least 108 lives and prevent at least 1,000 injuries annually.
- Airbags are designed to supplement seatbelt protections – This is an important fact to point out to those who believe that it’s not important to wear seatbelts because their vehicles have airbags. The fact of the matter is, however, that airbags do not provide the same protections as seatbelts and that, if motorists want to be as safe as possible when traveling, they will buckle up.
What do you think about these facts and statistics regarding seatbelt use in South Carolina and the U.S.? Comment on our Facebook & Google+ pages.
Columbia SC Car Accident Lawyer at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Attorneys at Law
If you have been injured in a traffic crash, contact a Columbia SC car accident lawyer at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. for clear answers about your rights and options for proceeding, as well as effective legal advocacy moving forward.
Call our firm at 866-881-8623 or email us via the contact form on this page to set up a free, no obligations initial consult with one of our lawyers. During this meeting, you can find out more about your rights, as well as how we can help you.