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Seat Belts in Car Accidents | Buckling Up Keeps Fatalities Down

(This is an excellent Personal Injury Law Article by  Jason Epstein . This article is approved by Rhode Island Personal Injury Lawyer David Slepkow)

In this age of increasing distracted driving car accidents (currently the number one concern of most motorists), we can sometimes forget the important role that safety belts continue to play in keeping us all safe on America’s highways.

Fortunately, organizations like the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) conduct important research that serves to remind us just how vital our vehicle restraint systems are.

In a recent study from the end of 2010, the NHTSA released its estimates of how many wrongful deaths were avoided in car accidents, thanks to the vehicle occupants being buckled up. In 2009 alone, an estimated 12,713 lives were saved – and, in the five year period from 2005 through 2009, that number reached over 72,000.

Posts by Rhode Island Personal Injury Attorney, David Slepkow:

With seat belt usage averaging at around 84% for all age groups, it’s clear that most Americans realize the importance of buckling up. Unfortunately, one age group uses seat belts less than the others – 16 to 24 year-olds, only 80% of who use safety restraint systems while driving.

It may be an abstract statistic to read in this article – but the reality of it hit home during the holiday season in the Trenton, New Jersey area. On December 16th, 18 year-old Nick Gazzara, a star soccer player, drove down a snowy highway, lost control of his vehicle and slid into an oncoming truck. He was not wearing a seat belt and was pronounced dead at the scene.

To combat these kinds of senseless tragedies, the Garden State’s Division of Highway Traffic Safety is working together with the Brain Injury Association of New Jersey in launching a new effort this year to encourage safer teen driving, including the regular use of seat belts.

The program, entitled the “U Got Brains Champion Schools Project,” will offer one thousand dollars to two schools to create their own safe driving initiative and compete against 17 other schools to win driving simulators. It’s named after a state website,, which was created a few years ago to promote safe driving habits.

The site features videos and accounts of car accidents that resulted in personal injury and wrongful death, safe driving tips, and shocking statistics, such as the fact that two-thirds of teens killed in crashes weren’t wearing seat belts.

“The main focus today is on texting while driving, but we can’t forget about seat belts,” said Bill Kolbenschlag, a communications associate with the Brain Injury Association of New Jersey.

Teen drivers’ mix of inexperience and sometimes reckless behavior translates to a greater chance of them being involved in a tragic crash than other age groups. Being buckled up at least puts the odds in favor of them surviving such crashes.

Article Written by: By: Jason Epstein

Article Source:

About the Author:
For more free “Straight Talk Law” information, please visit the website of King County Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Attorney Jason Epstein at where you can order free books on personal injury lawyers, Washington auto accidents, auto insurance, and other valuable legal information, offered as a public service by Mr. Epstein’s law practice in Seattle, Washington

Legal Notice per Rules of Professional Responsibility: The Rhode Island Supreme Court licenses all lawyers and attorneys in the general practice of law, but does not license or certify any lawyer / attorney as an expert or specialist in any field of practice. While this firm maintains joint responsibility, most cases of this type are referred to other attorneys for principle responsibility.

(Contact Rhode Island Personal Injury Attorney David Slepkow here: Contact form)

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