How to Avoid Seat Belt Injuries During an Accident
In the years since seat belt use has become mandated, buckling up as soon as we get into a car has become as automatic as brushing our teeth each morning. Seat belts have undoubtedly saved hundreds of thousands of lives, but they have also been cited as the cause of injury in many cases. People point to this as a reason not to wear a seat belt, but this is a mistake. If you secure and wear your seat belt properly you are much less likely to incur a seat belt injury, and even if you are injured there is a good chance that the injury would have been far worse had you not been wearing one. The personal injury attorneys at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers are dedicated to helping those who have been injured in car accidents, as well as in providing people with ways to avoid injury entirely. Here is some information on how to avoid seat belt injuries during an accident.
- Position the Shoulder Belt Across the Middle of Your Chest – Some people find the shoulder strap uncomfortable, and move to put it under their arm in order to avoid discomfort. Others allow it to sit too close to their necks. Doing either puts them at serious risk: the shoulder strap is specifically designed to prevent your body from being forced forward into the steering wheel or dashboard, and placing it improperly puts you at risk of serious injury to your ribs, your chest, and your head. If the shoulder strap rides to close to your neck, you can adjust it based on its point of origin in the vehicle.
- Seat belts operate by locking when the motion of a vehicle or pressure on them changes. Though today’s seat belts cross the body as well as the lap, older model vehicles may still simply have lap straps. Lap belts should always be positioned below your stomach at the hip level in order to avoid internal injury.
- Make sure that your belt fits comfortably and snugly. It should not be loose enough for the passenger to move freely, and it should not be uncomfortably tight.
Though most seat belt injuries are not serious, and are limited to scrapes and bruises, when people wear the belts incorrectly they increase the risk of serious injuries. In some cases, seat belt injuries are caused by a seat belt not operating properly or having been poorly designed or manufactured. In these cases, the responsibility for the injury may lie with the manufacturer, and the person who was injured may be eligible to file a product liability lawsuit.
If you have suffered a seat belt injury that you believe is a matter of negligence, call the attorneys at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers. We will carefully investigate your situation and provide you with guidance regarding your rights and the steps you should take to get the compensation you deserve.