A recent editorial from the Atlanta Journal Constitution (AJC) focused on the need to change Georgia’s seatbelt laws. The author urged Georgia to adopt a law which would require adults in the back of cars to wear seat belts. Georgia is one of 28 states without such a law already on the books. Georgia also has high rates of death among passengers who are not restrained by seat belts at the time when collisions occur.
If an accident happens and a victim is not wearing a seatbelt, the risk of a serious injury or death significantly increases. While it could be argued that the victim should have been buckled up, this does not prevent the injured victim or his family from making a claim for damages.
If the crash caused injury and someone else was to blame for it, the person hurt or the family of the person killed can still hold the responsible party accountable for losses- regardless of seatbelt status. An Atlanta car accident lawyer can help victims to pursue claims to get compensation when damages occurred.
Preventing Atlanta Car Accident Deaths Through New Seatbelt Laws
Under current Georgia law, passengers aged six to 17 have to wear seat belts when in any seat in the vehicle. However, if someone is 18 and over and is in the car, seat belts are only required when sitting in the front seat. There is no requirement for seat belts to be worn in the back of the car. This puts motorists in the back of the car at risk, but unfortunately, it is very common for people to avoid buckling up in the back.
The AJC editorial urging new seatbelt laws in Georgia points to a recent study released by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. The study showed around 17.8 percent of drivers said they had operated their vehicles without a seatbelt on during the month before the survey. In total, 15 percent of the people surveyed said that they drove without seat belts more than one time over the prior 30 days. In total, around 5.5 percent of people taking the survey said they regularly drove with no seatbelt or that they drove fairly often without buckling up. For those sitting in the back, just 78 percent said they buckled up regularly, as compared with 87 percent of people who said they buckled up when sitting in the front.
A public relations director from AAA commented that people often won’t change their behavior on wearing seatbelt unless there is a legal consequence for doing so. As a result, even though seatbelt could significantly reduce the chances of serious injury or death, people won’t just begin wearing belts voluntarily unless there are legal consequences for not bucking up.
The tragic fact is, a passenger in the back seat is three times more likely to be killed in a motor vehicle accident if not buckled. Georgia is sixth in the United States in terms of deaths due to unrestrained passengers being killed in crashes. If a new law was passed, hopefully Georgia could bring its death rate down.
Getting Help from an Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer
At Atlanta car accident lawyer can offer invaluable assistance in pursuing a claim for full damages if someone hurt you, regardless of your seatbelt status.
The Atlanta car accident lawyers at Sammons & Carpenter, P.C. can represent victims after a collision. Call today at (404) 814-8949 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.