Seat Belt Injuries and How You Can Prevent Them
Seat belts are vital safety tools that have saved hundreds of thousands of lives since their development and implementation. At times, however, these devices can result in injury. The risk of injury is especially great if you fail to properly secure the seat belt. The following is a look at some of the most common injuries caused by seat belts and how you can best prevent these injuries.
Seat Belt Injuries
Seat belts are designed to prevent drivers and passengers from flying forward in the event of an accident. In order to keep people secure, seat belts must tighten in the event of a crash. Accordingly, seat belts will prevent your entire body from hitting a hard surface or ejecting from the vehicle during a crash, but part of your body might exert force on the belt during the accident.
Seat belt injuries do not occur in every crash. There are a number of factors that will combine to determine whether or not you will be injured by your seat belt during an accident, including:
- The speed at which you were traveling
- The placement of the belt, with improper placement leading to accidents
- Manufacturer defects
- Belts that are too tight or too loose
Types of Injuries Caused by Seat Belts
Seat belt related injuries are generally confined to the upper body due to the placement of the belt. Some of the most common injuries inflicted by seat belts in an accident include:
- Cracked ribs
- Bruised or broken sternum
- Shoulder injuries
- Bruises or cuts in the chest region
- Spinal cord injuries
- Damage to internal organs
The speed and circumstances of the accident will play a role in whether a seat belt will cause you injury. Not all seat belt injuries are preventable, especially in high speed, serious accidents. Further, even when a seat belt injury does occur, it is important to remember that your injuries would likely have been far more severe and potentially even life threatening if you were not wearing your seat belt.
You can minimize the risk of being injured by a seat belt by ensuring you secure your belt properly. This means buckling so that your lap belt is firm across your hips and below your stomach. Your shoulder belt must be secured firmly in the middle of your chest and not near the neck. While the belt should not be uncomfortably tight, it also should not allow for much wiggle room. Anyone injured by a seat belt in a crash should consult with an automobile accident attorney, who will examine the facts and circumstances of what happened as well as take the necessary steps to protect your rights.
Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law: Dedicated Auto Accident Attorneys
Seat belts undoubtedly save lives, but they can also inflict some injuries in the event of a crash. Some of these injuries can be prevented with proper use of the seat belt, while others are not preventable. If you are injured in a car accident, contact the Georgia Automobile Accident Attorneys at Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law. Our firm helps accident victims across Georgia and in the Southeast and has over 35 years of experience assisting injured accident victims. The sooner you act after the accident, the greater your chances of obtaining a full recovery. As such, it is important that you seek the assistance of a licensed lawyer as soon as possible. Call Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law, 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.