Georgia Truck Crash Lawyers Comment On New Pickup Truck Seatbelt Law
The Truck Accident Attorneys at Montlick & Associates Comment on the New Pickup Truck Seatbelt Law
Around July 4th, Georgia's new pickup truck seatbelt law went into effect. The new law mandates pickup truck drivers and front seat passengers to wear seatbelts when the vehicle is operated on a public roadway. Georgia's previous mandatory seatbelt law did not require pickup truck occupants to wear seatbelts. Given the carnage Georgia residents suffer on the road on an annual basis, it is a welcomed idea. At Montlick & Associates, we have decades of experience representing people who were injured in pickup truck accidents through no fault of their own.
The rationale for the law change is simple: it was necessary. According to the Governor's Office of Highway Safety In Georgia, nearly 50% of all fatal accidents in rural areas involved pickup trucks. In those accidents, 75% of all people killed were not wearing seatbelts. The cost in human life is astounding. According to estimates which aggregate accidents that resulted in serious injury, death, and property damage, the cost to Georgia taxpayers is $7.8 billion. Additionally, approximately 1500 lives are lost every year on Georgia's roads. The Governor's Office of Highway Safety estimated that 100 lives could be saved each year if pickup truck drivers and passengers wore their seatbelts.
The Governor's Office of Highway Safety recognizes that this law could appear to have an adverse effect on Georgia's farming population. However, the Governor's Office gives assurances that there is no net effect because the law applies across the board, irrespective of whether pickup truck is driven in Metropolitan Atlanta or a rural farming community. The bottom line is that lives will be saved. Statistics show that the death rate in rural areas is two-times the amount than urban areas. Clearly, something must be done to lower the rate of accidents.
Statistically speaking, pickup truck drivers use their seatbelts 15% less than typical passenger car motorists. However, seatbelts have been proven time and time again to reduce the chance of dying or suffering a serious bodily injury in a motor vehicle crash. Drivers who wear their seatbelts in pickup trucks are 60% less likely to die in a wreck. Also, seatbelts save driver's lives 80% of the time in rollover accidents. Therefore, there are compelling reasons to buckle a seatbelt when riding in a pickup truck.
Pickup trucks are not invincible vehicles, despite countervailing opinions. In tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, which simulated running off of the road and striking a tree or getting hit by an oncoming car in the opposite lane, very few trucks performed admirably. In many pickup truck accidents, the cabin space becomes compressed. In such cases, the driver's legs can be broken and, in some cases, despite striking the airbag, the driver's head can slide off of the airbag and into the windshield pillar, resulting in serious injury or death.
Be sure to visit our Family Safety Programs and Resources web portal to learn valuable traffic safety tips as well as Montlick and Associates' public outreach initiatives.
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Montlick & Associates, Attorneys at Law
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Atlanta, GA 30329
Telephone: 1 (800) LAW-NEED
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