It’s a known fact that not every driver wears their seatbelt. Seatbelts are designed to secure a person to prevent injury in the event of an accident. It’s one of the best defenses against aggressive, impaired, and distracted drivers.

The risk of death reduces by 45% when restrained by a seatbelt. It’s important to form the habit of buckling up each time you get into a vehicle, no matter where you’re sitting or the distance you’re going. The result of not wearing your seatbelt in the event of an accident can be severe. Here are four risks of not wearing your seatbelt.

The Risk of Being Ejected

You are 30 times more likely to be ejected from the vehicle during a crash when you don’t wear your seatbelt while driving. Even with a functional airbag, the risk of vehicle ejection remains high. Airbags are not meant to replace seatbelts but are instead designed to work with them. Being completely ejected from a vehicle in a crash is almost always deadly. With a seatbelt, the weight of your body is held back, and the stronger portions of the body (like the hip bones and shoulder bones) are made to sustain the impact of a collision.

Fatal Impact

In a collision, the damage that can come from the interior of your vehicle can be fatal. The windshield, dashboard, or any other hard surface can cause severe harm to many delicate parts of your body, including your head and legs. Becoming unconscious from these blows can exacerbate the risk of serious injury and death by preventing a timely escape from a burning or flooded vehicle.

Breaking the Law

Buckling up is the law and it is enforced and non-negotiable in Louisiana state. You run the risk of being ticketed or fined when you simply refuse to wear your safety belt. Know the rules for both drivers and passengers to ensure you don’t inadvertently break them.

Steps to Properly Buckle Up

Here are some pointers on how to wear your safety belt:

  • Both the lap and shoulder belts should be secured across the pelvis and rib cage.
  • Place the shoulder belt across the middle of your chest and away from your neck.
  • The lap belt rests across your hips, not your stomach.
  • Never wear the shoulder belt behind your back or under your arm.  

Keep in mind both straps work together. When wearing only the shoulder strap, you can slide out from under the seat belt, causing the belt to strangle you. With just the lap belt on, your head can easily hit the steering wheel in a collision.

If you find that you are unable to wear your seatbelt comfortably, contact your vehicle manufacturer to get seatbelt extenders. For an older car with only lap belts, the vehicle manufacturer can provide information on how to retrofit your vehicle with today’s standard lap/shoulder belts.

Seek Legal Help for a Louisiana Car Accident

Damages sustained when you do not buckle up can be severe, but they can also be severe when you follow precautions. If you have suffered in a car accident in Louisiana and you need professional legal counsel, our attorneys at E. Orum Young Law Offices are experienced and knowledgeable in accident law. Our Trial Guarantee means we will take your case to trial per your request. We are willing to guide you every step of the way, contact us at 318-450-6453 and start your free case evaluation.