Cherokee County Wreck Highlights Risks of Not Wearing Seatbelts


November 24, 2010

A Cherokee County woman was killed when she was ejected from her Jeep Cherokee when it left the roadway, rolled and landed on the roof of the vehicle. The woman was presumably not wearing a seatbelt as her body was located over forty feet from her vehicle. The preliminary investigation suggests that the woman failed to or was unable to negotiate a curve in the road, and proceeded off of the roadway and down into an embankment.

The police also discovered several alcohol containers in the vehicle and believe alcohol was a factor in the fatal single-car accident. Each year over forty thousand people are killed in car accidents and millions more injured. Tragically, many of these deaths and injuries are preventable and occur only because the vehicle occupants were not wearing seatbelts. Despite the overwhelming evidence that they can dramatically decrease the likelihood of serious injuries and death, people still fail to wear their seat belts correctly and consistently. At Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, we have been representing those throughout Georgia who are seriously injured or killed in auto accidents for over 25 years.

Recent statistics indicate that laws requiring the use of seatbelts as well as public service campaigns emphasizing their value are increasing the number of people who are buckling up. Unfortunately, those who choose not to buckle up still suffer a significant percentage of serious injuries and fatalities in motor vehicle accidents. Though only 17% of people do not regularly wear seatbelts, 55% of those killed in auto accidents do not buckle up. Studies show that wearing a seatbelt is 44% more effective at preventing fatalities for backseat occupants of passenger vehicles and a whopping 73% for those riding in the rear of vans and SUVs.

Seat belts can prevent or reduce the seriousness of injuries suffered by a vehicle occupant in a variety of ways:

Preventing Ejection: Studies consistently show that a vehicle occupant is much safer if they remain within the vehicle during a car crash. The vehicle itself provides protection for the body.

Protecting Key Parts of the Body: Head, neck and spinal cord trauma are amongst the most dangerous injuries experienced in a motor vehicle accident. Injuries to these areas of the body can result in traumatic brain injury, spinal cord damage, paralysis, coma and death. Seatbelts reduce the risk of these critical areas of the body suffering impact with the inside of the vehicle or other objects.

Redistributing Force of Impact: A seat belt distributes the force of the impact of a collision over the strongest parts of the body preventing the complete impact from being absorbed by the body's weakest parts.

Decreasing Rate of Body Deceleration: During a car wreck, the vehicle and occupants are forced to come to a sudden halt which exerts enormous force on the body. Seatbelts can slow this rate of deceleration so that there is less impact and jerking of one’s body.

While it is impossible to know whether the life of the woman in the Cherokee County car crash would have been saved had she been wearing a seatbelt. It is beyond dispute that seatbelt use means the difference between life and death in many serious car crashes. The couple of seconds it takes to buckle up can mean the difference between an inconvenient nuisance and serious injuries if you are involved in a Georgia car accident. If you or someone you love has been involved in a Georgia car wreck, the Cherokee County Car Accident Lawyers and Georgia Car Accident Lawyers of Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law will represent you in seeking fair compensation as we have been helping people throughout Georgia for over 25 years.

Category: Auto Accidents

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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.