Atlanta Car Accident Attorneys Discuss Importance of Always Buckling Up


March 28, 2014

While vehicle occupants face the risk of being seriously injured anytime they are involved in a crash while navigating the streets of Atlanta, the consequences can be far more devastating for those who are not wearing a seat belt. A recent serious vehicle ejection accident in west Atlanta on I-20 serves as a reminder of the value of buckling up. While the WGCL-TV Atlanta report did not expressly indicate that the crash victim was not wearing a seat belt, the risk of being ejected during a collision is almost non-existent when vehicle occupants are properly restrained with a lap and shoulder harness. The report indicated that the man was taken to a local hospital and listed in critical condition. Our attorneys and staff at Montlick and Associate express our wishes for a quick and full recovery to the victim of this car crash and his family.

Although collisions pose an inherent risk of life-altering injuries and loss of life, vehicle occupants are far safer inside the passenger compartment of a vehicle. Vehicle manufacturers have made enormous strides in terms of developing new vehicle safety features, including more extensive air bag coverage, collision avoidance systems and other options to keep vehicle occupants safe. Nonetheless, a properly worn seat belt remains the single most significant factor in predicting the severity of injury and likelihood of survival in a motor vehicle accident.

Many states have enacted seat belt laws designed to prevent vehicle ejections and injuries resulting from being thrown against the hard interior surfaces of a vehicle. However, the effectiveness of these mandatory seat belt law depends on the type of seat belt law. Virtually all states either have a primary law like Georgia or a secondary seat belt law. The difference is that a primary seat belt law permits a police officer to pull over a driver and issue a citation solely based on the motorist's seat belt violation. A secondary law requires that the officer stop a motorist for a legally sufficient reason unrelated to whether the driver is wearing a seat belt. Although Georgia has a primary seat belt law, it is not a universal seat belt law because passengers in the back seat that are age 18 or older are not required to fasten their seat belt.

An abundance of evidence exists regarding the benefits of buckling up, as well as and the effectiveness of laws requiring motorist to use their seat belts. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reveals that seat belt use is fifteen percent higher in states with primary seat belt laws when compared to states with secondary seat belt laws. The federal traffic safety agency found that the seat belt usage rate in states with only a secondary law was 63 percent, but the rate was 78 percent in states that treated seat belt use as a primary violation.

Unfortunately, thousands of preventable deaths and catastrophic injuries occur annually in the U.S. because people disregard seat belt laws or exercise their right not to wear a seat belt. While we are strong advocates of individual choice, our experienced Atlanta car accident lawyers see the devastating consequences of not wearing a seat belt far too often. We urge all vehicle occupants to buckle up because the right to choose can also include the decision to fasten one's seat belt anytime a driver or passenger is in a moving vehicle.

Montlick and Associates – Representing People Injured in Atlanta Car Accidents for Over 30 Years

Our Atlanta car accident lawyers at Montlick and Associates have been representing those who suffer serious injuries for over thirty years throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Auto Accidents

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.