A handful of Colorado high schools are competing against each other in an effort to see who can have the biggest impact on boosting seat belt usage. The inter-school showdown is part of the Teen Seat Belt Challenge, an eight-week student led campaign designed to educate drivers about the importance of buckling up. According to […]
Posts Tagged ‘seat belts’
This guest post is from Francis Hajek, a partner at Wilson & Hajek and author of the firm’s blog. The National Highway Safety Traffic Safety Administration recently released automobile safety statistics regarding safety belt use across the country. Personal Injury lawyers like my colleagues and I at Wilson & Hajek follow studies regarding car and […]
For the past twenty years, car manufacturers were faced with a choice: install lap-only seat belts, or “type 2” seat belts, which include a shoulder strap and have been proven to be much safer. When faced with this choice, can the car makers be penalized for choosing the less safe option? Since October of 2009, the US Supreme Court has been charged with parsing this question in terms of SCOTUS preemption precedents that seemed to indicate a tough route forward for plaintiff wrongful death lawsuits against Mazda. But this week, a unanimous court ruled that the lawsuits could move forward here in California.
A report released this week in the Journal Traffic Injury Prevention found that over the past five years, the United States has enjoyed the greatest decrease in car accident fatalities since World War II. Between 2005 and 2009, wrote Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle of the University of Michigan, such deaths have decreased 22 percent, due primarily to air bag improvements and the country’s economic downturn.
Sadly, vehicle seat belts do not represent a catchall solution to end car accident deaths. In fact, a recent Supreme Court case indicates that one victim may have “jackknifed around the lap belt causing fatal internal injuries,” reports the Washington Post. Now, the SCOTUS justices appear evenly divided on whether to allow a lawsuit against Mazda Motor of America, the company that produced the 1993 vehicle in question, for not installing seat belts with shoulder straps.
“Click it or Ticket,” is the threat that has prompted thousands more Americans to buckle up since the punitive campaign launched two years ago. Since more than 15,000 people not wearing seat belts are killed each year, it’s considered irresponsible not to strap in while zooming along the highway. But when it comes to large commercial vehicles, seat belts are considered less essential. This week, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration launched a campaign that could save dozens of lives each year by requiring commercial bus passengers to ‘click it’ as well.