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How Do Seat Belts Save Georgia Lives?

According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA), seat belts save approximately 13,000 lives in the United States each year and could save an additional 7,000 lives if everyone wore a seat belt belts.
 
Seat belts do not stop Atlanta car accidents from happening.  But, what they do is keep the occupant of a vehicle from flying out of the car when it comes to a sudden stop   If you’re sitting in the front seat and the vehicle crashes,  a seat belt reduces your risk of death by about 50 percent. That’s a good reason to buckle up.
 
If something is moving, it keeps moving until it is stopped by another force.  For example, if you roll a ball, it keeps rolling in the same direction until it either hits another object or until gravity and friction slow it down.  This physical principle is called “inertia”. 
 
If you are in a car on I-285 travelling north at 55 miles per hour and your car crashes into another vehicle, your car stops.  But, inertia works on every object independently.  Your own inertia will cause your body to continue to travel north at 55 miles per hour until it is stopped by another object.  If you are buckled up, you’ll be stopped by the seat belt.  If you are not buckled up, the object that stops you may be your own steering wheel or you may go crashing through your windshield as you continue to travel 55 miles per hour.
 
A seat belt also saves lives by distributing the stopping force across the more protected part of the body.   
 
When the belt is worn correctly, it distributes the stopping force across the rib cage and the pelvis.  These are relatively sturdy parts of the body and the force of the impact is distributed across the full length of the seat belt.  In addition, the flexible material slows down the stop. However, if you are not wearing a seat belt and the part of the body that hits first is your head, then that part of your head experiences all of the stopping force in one area. If you survive the accident, you may sustain life threatening brain injuries.
 
In Georgia, all front seat passengers and all children are required by law to be buckled up.  But, buckling up is just good sense.
 
If you are injured in a Georgia car accident, your insurance company may claim you are not eligible for compensation if you are not buckled up.  This may not true.  If the accident is not your fault, you may still be able to receive insurance compensation for your injuries, lost wages and property damage – although your damages may be reduced. To learn more or discuss your own situation, contact Atlanta accident attorney Shane Smith at 770-HURT-999.
 
Victims of Georgia car crashes can learn about their rights in our free guide: “10 Mistakes That Can Ruin Your Georgia Wreck Case.”


Shane Smith
Advocate for the Seriously Injured in Georgia