As adults, we are usually watchful over our children in the back seat, admonishing them to put on their seatbelts before we take off on the road. However, many adults do not feel it necessary to put on their own seat belts when they are back seat passengers. Many believe the back seat is safer, and therefore seat belts are not needed. This is a deadly notion.
Statistics on Not Wearing a Seat-Belt
The leading cause of death for people between the ages of 1 and 54, in the United States, is due to vehicle crashes. Even though seat belt use is one of the most effective defenses against death and serious injury in a car crash, lives are still lost, and people suffer injury due to lack of seat belt use.
According to the numbers published by the CDC, more than half of those who died in passenger vehicle crashes in 2015 were not wearing a seat-belt. Out of the 22,441 deaths recorded, 52% – 59% of teens and adults up to age 44 were unrestrained. Over 2.5 million people had injuries severe enough to be treated in hospital emergency rooms.
The Consequences of Riding in the Back Seat Unrestrained
A CBS News report details the importance of wearing a seat belt, even when you’re a passenger in the back. Graphic footage from dash-cams shows what can happen when a person is not wearing a seat-belt and the car is hit from the side or behind.
Unrestrained back seat passengers can be thrown to the side and risk smashing up against or through the window in a broadside crash. The impact from the rear can cause the unbelted driver-side back seat passenger to slam into the driver’s seat, crushing the driver against the steering wheel.
Florida Law and Not Wearing a Seat Belt
Twenty-one states do not have laws requiring back seat passengers to wear seatbelts. Florida is not one of them. The Dori Slosberg and Katie Marchetti Safety Belt Law became effective June 30, 2009. It requires that everyone in the front seat wear a seat belt, and all passengers under the age of 18 riding in the back seat must also buckle up. It is now a primary offense to ride unrestrained on Florida roadways.
Riding in a cab or Uber may give you the feeling you are safe because you are in the back seat, however, back seat passengers are three times more likely to die in a crash when they are not wearing a seat belt. We make our kids buckle up when they are in the back seat. Adults need to buckle up too.
Taking responsibility for your well-being only makes sense. Make it a practice to wear a seat belt when you are in a vehicle, no matter if you’re in the front or back seat. At Frohlich, Gordon & Beason, P.A., law offices, we are advocates for safety and well-being. We support our fellow citizens in Port Charlotte and the surrounding communities in learning about those things which will enhance your health and safety.
We also stand by those who have sustained personal injury due to the actions of others. Anytime you need help with legal issues involving personal injury, turn to the lawyers who care, Frohlich, Gordon & Beason, P.A. Contact us for a complimentary consultation about your case.