seat belt Injuries and Deaths

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that one of the biggest reasons a large number of teenage drivers and their passengers have such a high mortality rate in car crashes is because of the failure to wear seat belts.

Teen Car Accidents in Raleigh

Two fatal teen car accidents in Raleigh happened this week. One involved Millbrook High School students Garrett Prince and Kristin Molloy. Prince was speeding and driving under the influence when his car crashed and caught fire, causing Molloy’s death. In a separate accident off US 264, Enloe High School student, Carol Anne Stamper, 15, and Raleigh resident Ashley Szymankiewicz, 17. Stamper died at the scene of the accident. Szymankiewicz was charged with a safe movement violation and misdemeanor death by motor vehicle; she sustained non-life-threatening injuries. In both accidents, the drivers survived and the passengers died.

Can Seat Belts Cause Death?

Taking steps to reduce the occurrence of car crash injuries is wearing a seat belt. A federal government report shows that car crash deaths have decreased ten percent for drivers and passengers who do not wear their seat belts. Even so, reports consistently show a car crash survival rate is highest for those who wear their seat belt. Seat belt failures have been known to cause more injuries than if the driver hadn’t been wearing one at all. What if a seat belt causes an injury, or worse, death?

Types of Seat Belt Systems

Some seat belt systems are designed as “lap only.” These designs can cause severe spinal damage from rear-end and front-end impacts in car accidents. The “lap only” design also does little to prevent the driver or passenger from being ejected from the vehicle, depending on the type of impact the car sustains.

Common Causes of Seat Belt Failure

False latching or unlatching, torn or ripped belt webbing, and retractor failure are a few causes of seat belt failure. Sometimes a seat belt looks and sounds like it was closed correctly, but the system isn’t completely connected. High impact crashes are also responsible for unlatching. Both of these scenarios leave the driver or passenger in a vulnerable situation, with the potential to be thrown from the vehicle or into a window. The material seat belts are made out of is webbed together in a specific pattern that can withstand tremendous impact forces. If and when this material becomes damaged, whether it’s a tear or fraying, the seat belt’s integrity is compromised, which means the user’s safety is a risk.

Seat Belt Lawsuits

Brent Adams & Associates works with NC car accident victims who have suffered injuries because of another person’s negligence, or, in cases of faulty seat belts, a manufacturer’s negligence. Personal injury attorneys in Raleigh, Dunn and Fayetteville help innocent victims of car crashes who were injured because of a faulty seat belt pursue compensation through seat belt lawsuits. Contact a NC car accident attorney at 800.849.5931.
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