Fatal Rollover Accident Causing Ejection Provides Grim Reminder of Importance of Seat Belt Use
Atlanta Car Accident Lawyers Note Fatal Rollover Accident Causing Ejection Provides Grim Reminder of Importance of Seat Belt Use
A recent severe collision between an Infiniti and a BMW on the I-75 in Cobb County caused fatal injury to the driver of the BMW, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution. The driver of the BMW lost control of the vehicle before slamming into the Infiniti. The Infiniti ended up in a ditch while the BMW rolled several times, according to a Marietta Police spokesman. While the incident is currently under investigation, the fatal injuries suffered by the driver of the BMW might have been less serious had he been wearing a seat belt. In this blog article, our Atlanta car accident lawyers discuss the role seat belts play in preventing vehicle ejections that result in catastrophic injury and wrongful death.
Vehicle Ejections Significantly Increase the Risk of Serious Injury or Death
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has indicated that rollovers involving vehicle ejections constitute the most deadly type of collision. According to a study published in the Annals of Advanced Automotive Medicine, ejections greatly increase the risk of injury or fatality in a rollover crash. The study also found that seat belt use substantially reduced the risk of a partial ejection and virtually eliminated the risk of a complete ejection. The researchers emphasized the importance of keeping occupants inside the vehicle during a rollover. The risk of serious injury during a rollover accident increases by a factor of twenty during a complete ejection, and the risk of a fatality increases by a factor of 91.
The researchers also provided a scientific basis to explain the effectiveness of seat belts at keeping vehicle occupants inside a vehicle during a rollover. The study authors discussed the dynamics of a vehicle ejection. A driver or passenger will remain in the vehicle if the occupant follows a "curving path." Based on Newton's first law of motion, centripetal force is required to make an object follow a curving path. Centripetal force acts on a body moving in a circular path and that is directed toward the center around which the body is moving. A seat belt can provide this force. When the occupant of a vehicle is unbuckled during a rollover crash, the windows, doors, and roof are often unable to provide sufficient centripetal force, so the occupant can be launched out of a window or open door. After an occupant is ejected from the vehicle, there is a high risk of severe or fatal injury when the person is hit by a passing vehicle or impacts the hard roadway surface.
While larger vehicles like pickups and vans can be safer in many types of crashes, ejection rates are higher for these larger vehicles when compared to a passenger car. Studies reveal this disparity stems from the higher risk of rollovers involving larger vehicles than passenger cars. While seat belts are the most important vehicle safety feature during any crash, this study illustrates their enhanced importance in a rollover crash.
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If you or someone close to you is injured in a motor vehicle accident, our experienced Atlanta auto accident lawyers are committed to pursuing the fullest recovery for our clients under the law. Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, has been representing those who suffer serious injuries throughout Georgia and in the Southeast for over thirty years, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state.
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