With all the new advancements in motor-vehicle technology, cars are safer than ever. But some of the original safety devices will most likely keep you safe in a Boston car accident.
Seat belts and child safety seats are still some of the most effective lifesavers and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently released a report illustrating the importance of properly buckling up all vehicle occupants.
“While we’re looking for the next big breakthrough in vehicle safety, we should keep in mind that many existing strategies at the driver and passenger level still can yield gains,” says Adrian Lund, Institute president.
Our Massachusetts car accident attorneys understand that nearly 100 people die on our roadways every single day. Many of these fatalities can be prevented if drivers take just a few seconds to buckle up. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), preliminary estimates conclude that nearly 33,000 people were killed because of motor vehicle accidents in the United States in 2009.
Massachusetts seat belt law states that all vehicle occupants 12-years-old and older must wear a seat belt except:
- Vehicle occupants that have proof from a physician that a medical condition or a disability makes wearing a seat belt impossible or dangerous.
- Occupants of vehicles that were made before July of 1966.
- Drivers of tractors, buses, taxis and of trucks with a gross vehicle weight of 18,000 pounds or more.
- On-duty postal workers.
- Police and fire vehicle drivers.
- Emergency vehicle passengers.
Seat belts reportedly saved the lives of nearly 13,000 people in 2009. According to the NHTSA, more than 3,600 additional people could have been saved if everyone were wearing a seat belt during a motor-vehicle accident.
The study also stresses the importance of properly-used child safety seats in the event of a traffic crash. While there has previously been some confusion as to which child should use which child seat, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety released new recommendations to help clear the confusion.
This most recent information states that parents and guardians should keep their child in each type of child restraints, including forward-facing, rear-facing and child booster seats for as long as the child fits with the height and weight requirements suggested by the manufacturer.
“Safety is our highest priority,” said U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “The ‘best’ car seat is the one that fits your child, fits your vehicle and one you will use every time your child is in the car.”
Child safety seat recommendations:
-Children under the age of 1: always ride in a rear-facing car seat.
-Children ages 1- to 3-years-old: Keep children in rear-facing seats for as long as possible. Once your child has outgrown the manufacturer’s height and weight recommendations for the car seat, you can move your child to a forward-facing car seat with a harness.
-Children ages 4- to 7-years-old: Keep your child in a forward-facing child car seat with a harness until they have exceeded the weight and height limit for the seat. Once they’ve outgrown these limits, it’s time to move them to a booster seat.
-Children ages 8- to 12-years-old: Keep your child in a car booster seat until they are big enough to fit in a seat belt properly. They should typically graduate to an adult seat and seat belt once they’ve reached 4 feet, 9 inches. Make sure that the seat belt fits snugly across the upper thighs and not on the stomach. Also make sure that the shoulder portion of the belt lies snug across the shoulder and chest. The belt should not cross over the child’s neck or face. Your child is always safer to ride in the back seat.
While your new car may be equipped with cameras, top-of-the-line airbag systems, override steering systems and vehicle detection systems, some of the most effective ways to prevent injury in the event of a collision is a good-old seat belt.
If you or a loved one has been in a car accident in the Boston area, contact Massachusetts Car Accident Attorney Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call 1-877-617-5333.
More Blog Entries:
Inexperienced Teen Drivers Heading to and from School Facing Risks of Car Accidents in Massachusetts, Boston Personal Injury Attorney Blog, August 29, 2011
Fall Season Brings Wild Animals and Increased Risks of Fatal Car Accidents in Massachusetts, Boston Personal Injury Attorney Blog, August 20, 2011