Seat belts are required by law in all 50 states, including South Carolina. However, these laws aren’t just to give law enforcement the ability to ticket people who aren’t wearing seat belts and earn more revenue. Wearing a seat belt has actually been statistically proven to reduce the risk of injury and death in the event of a car accident. Here are 5 reasons why seat belt laws could save your life.

1. Wearing a Seat Belt Reduces the Risk of Injury Significantly

According to the South Carolina Department of Public Safety, wearing a lap and shoulder seat belt correctly reduces the risk of fatal injuries to individuals in the front of the car by a whopping 40%. The risk of moderate to critical injuries is reduced by 50%. The risk is reduced even more for drivers and front seat passengers in light trucks – when a seat belt is properly worn, the risk of injury is reduced by 60-65%.

2. Seat belts Save More Lives Than Any Other Car Safety Mechanism

In 2014 alone, seat belts saved approximately 12,802 lives. No other car safety mechanism, including airbags, save as many lives as seat belts do.

3. Every Year in South Carolina, More Lives Could Be Saved by Wearing Seat belts

Statistics show that in South Carolina alone, if 90% of people on the road wore their seat belts, 108 more lives could be saved and over 1000 serious injuries could be prevented every year. Additionally, the reduction of fatalities and injuries in South Carolina car accidents could save the state an estimated $247 million in costs. Across the United States, 90% seat belt compliance could amount to 1600 saved lives and the prevention of 22,000 critical injuries.

4. Ejected Individuals Are More Likely to Be Killed in a Car Accident

The most common thing to occur during a car accident when someone is not wearing a seat belt is the individual being ejected from the vehicle due to the force of the collision. People who are ejected from the vehicle are four times more likely to be killed than those who are not, especially in vehicle rollover accidents.

5. No Other Driver Behavior Contributes to Car Accident Fatalities Than Not Wearing a Seat Belt

Less fatalities are caused by speeding, drunk driving, reckless driving, and other dangerous driving behaviors than fatalities caused by not wearing a seat belt. By buckling up, you’re significantly reducing your risk of death or critical injuries in the event a car accident occurs.

A seat belt isn’t a fashion accessory or an optional device. South Carolina seat belt laws exist to save lives, and by wearing a seat belt and insisting that your passengers wear seat belts – especially children – can prevent life threatening and deadly injuries no matter what type of car accident you are involved in.

If you have been injured in a car accident, whether you were wearing your seat belt or not, it is important to determine whether the car accident was caused by the negligence of someone else or manufacturer defects in the vehicle itself. If so, you may be eligible for compensation. Contact Guest & Brady, LLC today at (864) 233-7200.