Failure to wear a seat belt can sometimes affect the outcome of a personal injury lawsuit. In some states, failure to wear a seat belt can decrease the amount of compensation a plaintiff can receive. In other states, evidence of failure to wear a safety belt cannot be considered when determining the plaintiff’s damages.
In Maryland, more than 120 state law enforcement agencies are cracking down on passengers and drivers who don’t wear safety belts. The “Click It Or Ticket” campaign is part of a nationwide initiative to reduce auto accident deaths and increase Maryland’s 91% safety belt use rate.
State law enforcement groups have set up more than 100 seat belt checkpoints and enforcement zones where individuals not wearing seat belts will be ticketed. Special attention will be paid to safety belt use at night.
Maryland Accident Statistics:
In 2004, nearly 60 percent of the people who died in auto-related deaths at night were not wearing seat belts.
In 2005, 24 percent of all car crashes and 40 percent of fatal wrecks happened at night.
According to the Maryland Committee For Safety Belt Use, more than 450,000 Marylanders do not buckle up when riding in cars.
If you have any reservations about buckling up 100 percent of the time, consider:
· A vehicle going 30 mph produces the same impact as a fall from a third story window. So a crash during a short trip to the store can produce the force of a fall from 30 feet.
· In Minnesota where a seat belt law was enacted in 1987 and where seat belt use has increased from 20 percent to 80 percent, the number of severe injuries has decreased from 4,176 in 1987 to 2,222 in 2002.
More than 12,000 agencies in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico are participating in the “Click It Or Ticket” program from May 22 – June 04, 2006.
Maryland Police To Monitor Safety Belt Checkpoints As Part Of Safety Campaign, Baltimore Business Journal, May 22, 2006
Maryland Law Enforcement Joins Nationwide “Click It Or Ticket” Initiatve To Save Lives, PR Newswire, May 18, 2006
Click It Or Ticket Tonight And Always, The Daily Times, delmarvanow.com, May 24, 2006
Seat Belts, Answers.com
Lifesaving Tips For Drivers, Health AtoZ.com
Related Web Resources:
Seat Belts: Why You Should Use Them, Oklahoma State University Safety Training