We have many years of experience in representing New Orleans residents who suffered serious injuries in car accidents. Although we have seen cases where seatbelts have caused injuries, the injuries we have seen inflicted on our clients by seatbelts are usually minor compared to the injuries suffered by unbelted occupants.
While these are just our personal observations, they are supported by studies conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In 2001, the NHTSA analyzed the role of seatbelts in all fatal crashes that year. They found that 73% of people wearing seatbelts survived, compared to only 44% of those not wearing seatbelts.
In a separate study, it was determined that three out of four people ejected from a vehicle during a crash died as a result. Of the people ejected, 99% of them were not wearing a seatbelt. The danger of not wearing a seatbelt under these circumstances is very clear.
Some people don’t wear seatbelts because they have heard stories of people being choked by the belt or falling out of the vehicle and being dragged. While this can happen, it is extremely rare – certainly less common than unbelted occupants being ejected. Typically, injuries caused by seatbelts are limited to shoulder injuries and abrasions from the belt. In contrast, striking the dashboard or smashing your head against the windshield can cause much more devastating results.
Having helped many car accident victims, we know that no amount of financial compensation can replace your health. We urge everyone to wear seatbelts. If you or a loved one has been hurt in a car accident, please feel free to call us at 504-581-6411 or 855-GERTLER.