The Texas Motor Vehicle Authority ensures that vehicles registered in the state undergo an annual inspection, and among the many things in the inspection checklist are seat belts. Every year the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) has a “Click It or Ticket” Campaign, and November 2020 marked its 18th anniversary of encouraging compliance with Texas seat belt laws. Since 2002, the campaign that urges people to buckle up has saved 6,234 lives, and currently, 91% of Texans always wear their seatbelts.
According to TxDOT, wearing a seat belt reduces death risk in case of a car crash by 45% in passenger vehicles and by 60% in a pickup truck. With 14% of Texans admitting to driving under the influence, your safety on the road is compromised.
Since you cannot control other people’s actions, you should ensure that you reduce the chances of injury by wearing a seat belt every time you are on the road, whether as a driver or a passenger. Therefore, let’s take you through the benefits of wearing a seat belt, the injuries they may cause, and seat belt safety tips.
Top Benefits of Wearing Seat Belts in Texas
Car crashes are a leading cause of death in the United States for those aged between 1 and 54. Seat belt use is among the most effective ways to reduce the risk of death; it decreases death risk by 45% among front-seat passengers and drivers. By restraining you, it prevents you from being ejected where you can meet death on the road.
A seat belt protects your body against serious injuries such as brain and spinal cord injuries that can dramatically change your life as well as the lives of your loved ones.
Reduce the Financial Costs
If you are involved in a car accident and you sustain injuries, the chances are that you will remain in hospital three to five times longer than if you had been wearing a seat belt when the crash occurred. As a result, you incur 2-7 times the medical expenses of victims who wear seat belts. However, it goes beyond reducing your hospital bills.
The fact that some people insist on not wearing seat belts in violation of Texas seat belt law puts a financial burden on every taxpayer. Insurance premiums increase, and so do taxes. Failing to wear seat belts imposes a tax burden of about $137 billion per year, an amount that would significantly decrease if everyone adhered to the Texas seat belt laws.
Strong Personal Injury Case
If you sustained spinal cord injuries in a car accident that have resulted in paralysis, your paralysis attorney has a better chance of winning your case after showing that the injuries were not due to negligence on your part and ignoring Texas seat belt law. However, that is only possible if you were wearing a seat belt, especially since anyone riding in a Texas motor vehicle must wear a seat belt.
Avoid Legal Issues
In Texas, everyone should buckle up lest face tickets and fines. Children under 8 years old must be in a child safety seat if they are shorter than 4 feet 9 inches; if not, the driver will face up to a $250 fine and court costs. Adults can pay up to $200, plus court costs.
What Are the Most Common Seat Belt Injuries?
Seat belts can save your life, but you might not escape bruise-free. A three-point adult harness rests on the abdomen, shoulders, and chest. As the seat belt forces you to stay in your seat, the points of impact in these three areas can result in blunt force trauma in the:
You might experience pain in the abdominal area and surrounding regions after the accident due to the pressure applied as you are thrust forward in an accident. Getting an evaluation prevents severe complications later.
Your head could be pushed back and forth rapidly during a car accident, resulting in straining neck tendons and ligaments, thus causing whiplash. A neck injury attorney can ensure that you get the justice you deserve.
It is a direct point of impact that will affect the underlying organs such as the heart and lungs located in the sternum. A sore chest should encourage you to seek immediate medical attention. Other thoracic injuries include rib fractures, myocardial contusion, sternal fractures, and pulmonary contusion.
Texas Seat Belt Law & Safety Tips
- Always wear a seat belt regardless of where you are sitting.
- Wear it correctly
The lap belt should not ride upon the stomach; instead, it should be snug across your upper thighs. The shoulder strap should lie across the middle of your chest and shoulder. Do not let it fall across your neck; neither should it be behind your back or under your arms. You can minimize the gap between the seat belt and the shoulder by not reclining your seat more than necessary.
- Any child under a year old and weighing less than 35 pounds should be in a rear-facing child seat at the vehicle’s back seat. Children below five years old and less than 36 inches tall should ride in a child safety seat.
- When buying a car, ensure that the seat belts fit perfectly. Ask about any room for adjustments to get the best fit. Always adjust your strap to the wearer’s height, and if you need a roomier belt, you can contact the vehicle manufacturer for seat belt extenders.
Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer After Sustaining Injuries
After sustaining injuries, the Texas statute of limitations directs you to file your injury case within two years from the date of injury. You or your loved ones do not have to worry about losing your case because you can’t find a competent lawyer. Thompson Law has a team of skilled injury lawyers ready to come to you wherever you are. We are a small, family-run firm with a large pool of resources; we personally handle all cases and establish close working relationships with our clients.
At Thompson Law, we only win if you do; therefore, you don’t owe us a penny until we have settled your injury case. We offer free consultations and free case reviews, so if you feel that you or your loved ones deserve your day in court, we are here for you. Contact us today using our web form, on the phone at (844) 308-8180, on our Facebook page, on our Instagram page, or via whatever means you prefer. We are available 24/7 to listen to you and will assign you a lawyer within less than 15 minutes.