If you are in the front seat, your chances of surviving an automobile accident improve by 50 percent if you are wearing your seat belt. In fact, in combination with airbags, buckling your seat belt, is the most effective means of reducing fatal and severe injuries during a car crash.
Avoiding catastrophic injuries should be incentive enough, but our Texas laws reinforce the use of seat belts. Texas has a primary enforcement seat belt law on the books, meaning a police officer can ticket you for failing to wear a seat belt — or if your passengers are not belted in. The citation costs $50 plus court costs.
Seat belts save lives — more than 75,000 between 2004 and 2008, according to the National Safety Council. That’s why every state except New Hampshire requires them — and they obviously should. But how does this simple contraption work?
The Anatomy of an Automobile Crash
To understand what happens during a motor vehicle crash, return to your high school physics class. Newton’s first law of motion says: “An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.”
Howstuffworks explains how the seat belt is based upon Newton’s law
of motion. You travel at the same speed as your automobile. Let’s say
you are driving at 60 mph. If your vehicle hits an object — a tree or
another car, for example — the force of the object acts upon the
automobile and causes it to stop moving forward.
However, because the
object does not act upon you, your body continues moving at high speed
until a force stops the motion. If you are not wearing a seat belt at the time of the car wreck, that force may be the vehicle’s dashboard, its windshield or the pavement.
The force is typically concentrated on a vulnerable area of your body and the stop sudden, and thereby exacerbates your injuries.
How Your Seat Belt Works
Your seat belt distributes the force more evenly and more gradually
slows your movement. During an automobile accident, the shoulder and lap belts spread the force of impact to your ribcage and pelvis, areas of
your body that can better withstand it. The straps restrain your body from being thrown at high speed
and the flexible material stretches so you do not stop as abruptly. In addition, the automobile is designed to crumple, further absorbing the
force of impact.
Even if You Always Wear Your Seat Belt, You Need the Help of a Fort Worth Auto Accident Attorney
Even if you wear your seat belt, you can still sustain serious
injuries in a car crash. In order to recover the compensation you are entitled to receive for your damages, consult with highly rated Dallas-Fort Worth personal injury lawyer
Bill Berenson. Call our law office today at 817-885-8000 or toll-free at
1-888-801-8585 to schedule an appointment. Your first consultation is