Seat Belt Injuries
As cars have developed over time to travel at higher speeds, the need for seat restraints has risen. Today, cars regularly travel between 40 and 70 miles per hour on roads and highways, and the combined speed of a head-on collision can be upwards of 140 miles per hour. At such high speeds, accidents can be devastating. To help reduce the risk of injury or death in road accidents, seat belts are required by law. While they are effective at restraining passengers, seat belts can also cause injuries of their own.
Why Seat Belt Injuries Occur
When the seat belt experiences a sudden jolt, like that felt in a car crash, the seat belt mechanism is designed to lock and hold the passenger in place. This can put a heavy amount of force on a person’s body, particularly on the spine and at points that make contact with the seat belt. Lap seat belts are known to have a high risk of injury because of the high degree of stress that they put on the lumbar vertebrae. Also, if the seat belt is not adjusted properly, it could cut into the wearer’s skin or prevent proper restraint, resulting in injuries.
Seat Belt Problems
While some minor injuries are expected from the sudden restraint and stopping of the vehicle, in some cases more serious problems occur that can cause severe injury and even death. A faulty locking mechanism could fail to restrain a passenger properly and result in the wearer hitting the interior of the car. Typically adult seat belt manufacturers warn against securing any child under 12 years old with an adult seat belt. According to a UK seat belt study, securing small children with adult seat belts is a leading cause of child injury and death in automobile crashes.
To minimize seat belt injuries, always tighten your seat belt when you buckle up. Secure children under 12 with a child seat belt, and avoid lap belts if possible. If you or your child experiences an injury as a result of a seat belt malfunction or negligence, consider contacting a personal injury lawyer immediately to learn more about your legal options.
To learn more about seat belt injuries and accident liability, don’t hesitate to contact the experienced Indianapolis personal injury attorneys of the Hankey Law Office today at (800) 520-3633.