Putting on a seatbelt when getting into a car has become automatic for most people. There’s a reason why. Seatbelts often save lives in serious car accidents. But seatbelts are not always perfect.
As seatbelt usage has increased, the fatality rate for motor vehicle accidents has steadily declined. In 1994, just under 60 percent of motorists wore seatbelts. That year, the fatality rate for car accidents was 1.4 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled, the standard measurement for accidents. By 2006, the fatality rate dropped 21 percent to 1.1 deaths and 80 percent of motorists wore seatbelts.
Safety advocates have linked this sharp decline in fatal accidents to increased seatbelt usage. The increase in seatbelt usage coincides with tougher seatbelt laws in many states throughout the country. States like Alabama, Georgia and the District of Columbia have primary enforcement seatbelt laws. This means police can pull someone over for not wearing their seatbelt and issue them a fine. The fine in Georgia is $15; Alabama, $25; District of Columbia, $50. States with primary seatbelt laws report that 88 percent of motorists wear seatbelts. States without such laws report that 75 percent of motorists wear seatbelts.
But seatbelts aren’t always perfect. Sometimes, a defective design can make a seatbelt not function right. A gifted young professional baseball player, Brian Cole, was killed when his Ford SUV rolled over and his seatbelt failed to hold him in place. An investigation found that Cole had his seatbelt on at the time. Recently, a jury ordered Ford to pay Cole’s family $131 million, claiming the seatbelt did not operate correctly and contributed to Cole’s death.
Accidents happen fast. In an instance, a serious injury can change your life forever. What would you do if you were injured in a car accident? How would you pay your bills? What if your insurance company refused to cooperate? You need someone who knows how to make insurance companies compensate victims. You need someone who will hold corporations responsible for defective products. You need someone you can trust to get straight answers to your important questions. You need the Mike Slocumb Law Firm.
Our lawyers have years of experience successfully representing car accident victims in Alabama, Georgia and Washington, D.C. We know the games insurance companies and car makers try to play to avoid paying victims. Level the playing field. Call a law firm committed to getting results for our clients. Contact Mike Slocumb today. We’re on your side.