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Car Accidents Cost More When Unbuckled

Remember that yearly $500 per driver cost for car accidents we quoted a couple of blogs ago? We’re making strides towards lowering the average! Already, we’ve reviewed the costs of speeding and discussed the importance of properly-fitted child safety seats.

We all know we can’t control other drivers, but we can be safer drivers ourselves. Improving our driving skills and using the safety devices provided for us can’t stop someone else from being careless and causing a car wreck. But making that effort will lessen our chances of severe injury should we be in a car accident. The American Automobile Association reminds us why:

  • 29% of unrestrained vehicle occupants are ejected during traffic crashes
  • 74% of occupants ejected from the vehicle do not survive
  • Crash victims who are unbuckled have 50% higher medical costs

So buckle up! And look at wearing a seat belt as putting money in the bank. Just buckling up consistently means less money spent on car insurance deductibles. Plus, car insurance companies often lower the premiums for those who agree to wear a seat belt every single time we’re in the car! Also worth mentioning, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tells us that safety belt defense is allowed in 16 states, including the State of Colorado. That means if someone is injured in a car accident that was not his/her fault, but was not wearing a seat belt at the time, they may not be entitled to collect as much money for damages. Makes not buckling up seem even more reckless and wasteful, now doesn’t it?

The State of New York put into place the country’s first seat belt use law in 1984. Colorado followed a few years later by enacting a law in 1987. According to the Governor’s Highway Safety Association, 31 states now enforce primary seat belt laws. (Meaning law enforcement officers may stop a driver for violating a primary law alone.) Additionally, 18 more states, including Colorado, have enacted secondary seat belt laws. (Under a secondary law, officers cannot stop a driver just for that violation. A driver, or even an occupant, may be cited for not wearing a seat belt only observing violation of a primary law and stopping the vehicle.) New Hampshire is the only state with no seat belt laws for people age18 and older.

Visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and gather more info about seat belt use for children, pregnant women and those who just want to save some cash (or lives). Visit the Governor’s Highway Safety Association for an overview of all the highway safety laws currently active in Colorado.