51-year-old Andrew B. Litt, a resident of Acworth, Georgia, died in a January Paulding County car crash, according to the news source AJC.com. The cause was his excessive speed while rounding a corner during rush hour traffic; he veered into the path of an oncoming Jeep and the two vehicles collided head-on. The driver of the Jeep, Barbara Strawn, was taken to WellStar Kennestone Hospital and treated for severe injuries. Litt was not wearing a seat belt.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Seat Belts Statistics
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), motor vehicles are the number one cause of death for Americans aged one to 54-years-old. Millions of people are injured and well over 30,000 are killed every year in car crashes. And, while nearly everyone knows the dangers of traveling in automobiles, millions of Americans still do not wear seat belts. According to the CDC, seat belt use reduces the chance of death in a collision by half. Of the 2012 occupants who died in 2012, aged 13 to 20 years-old, 55 percent were not wearing seat belts. Below are some staggering and unfortunate statistics on the use of seat belts:
- Younger adults, aged 18 to 34 are less likely to wear seat belts than those over 35;
- Women are more likely to wear seat belts than men by 10 percent;
- Adults that live in rural are also less likely to wear seat belts;
- Only 78 percent of adults who live in rural areas wear seat belts, compared to 87 percent of adults who live in urban areas – additionally, law enforcement has something to do with seat belt use, not just age, gender, and rural/urban location;
- Rear seat passengers are less likely to wear a seat belt than those in the front seats;
- States that have primary enforcement laws have 89.3 percent seat belt use among occupants, compared to states that have secondary enforcement seat belts laws, where only 80 percent of occupants wear seat belts. Primary enforcement means that a police officer can pull over and ticket a driver (or passenger) for breaking that law. A secondary enforcement law means that a police officer must have another reason to pull that person over, such as speeding or swerving, and can only issue a ticket for the secondary enforcement law at that time. As of 2013, 33 states had secondary seat belt enforcement laws. Georgia has a primary seat belt enforcement law for children eight to 17 years-old for both front and back seats. For those aged 18 and older, there is primary enforcement only for the front seat, and the maximum first offense fine is just $15, which, in reality, does little to dissuade those from not wearing seat belts.
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Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney if You Have Been Hit
Even for those who were wearing seat belts during the time of crash, serious and fatal injuries still happen regularly. If you or a loved one were injured in a traffic collision, contact the experienced car accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Roger Ghai, P.C. today to discuss your legal options for compensation.