Figures provided by the Oklahoma Highway Safety Office show that in 2014, the last year for which we have data, the state’s residents buckled up their seat belts to the tune of 86.3 percent. When you consider that in 2013, this number sat at 83.6 percent, the increase is encouraging. Yet as any auto accident lawyer will tell, a near total success rate is still not enough.
There are compelling reasons to buckle up, even if you are not worried about the ticket. However, who are the motorists who have not yet gotten the message? According to the statistics, seatbelt use in Lincoln County only equals 70 percent, which is the lowest in the state. Rural road drivers have the highest seat belt usage rate. Drivers are more likely than their passengers to buckle up.
If you are among those who do not routinely reach for the seat belt, consider what you might be missing in the future.
- Staying in your seat during an accident. While the car is designed with a crumple zone that absorbs the energy of the crash, a belted occupant remains in place. An unbelted occupant, however, moves at the crash speed into an object that is ahead. This may be a windshield, a vehicle or the pavement.
- Being alive. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety points out that the use of seat belts is credited with saving about 12,584 lives in 2013. The ideal configuration is the shoulder and lap belt combination. Of course, a lap belt alone still betters your survival odds.
Contact us today if you have been involved in an auto accident and need information on how to protect your rights. Please buckle up, encourage your passengers to buckle up and verify that any minor child riding in the car with you is properly restrained.