How Necessary Are Seatbelts?

By Peter DePaolis

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, “seat belts are the single most effective traffic safety device for preventing death and injury.” Believe it or not, though, there are still some people out there who question the necessity of seatbelts.

Patented in 1955 and required by law as early as 1970, seatbelts reduce the risk of fatal injury to car passengers by up to 50 percent. Almost 90 percent of Americans use seatbelts every time they get in a car, but some groups of people still foolishly refuse to put the safety devices on.

There is, literally, no reason not to wear a seatbelt. Refusing to do so will almost inevitably lead to serious injury or death.

A Tragic Accident Made Worse by Poor Choices

A 41-year-old man named Floyd F. Robinson, Jr. was killed, and his two children injured, in a multi-vehicle accident that closed a local highway for five hours.

Robinson was waiting in a turn lane to make a left into a parking lot when he was struck from behind by a van in the same lane.

crashed front of carHis vehicle was forced into the opposite lane and struck by oncoming traffic. Unfortunately, neither Robinson nor his children were wearing seatbelts, and all of them were ejected onto the roadway.

Trying desperately to avoid the crash, a third vehicle swerved out of the way, but still struck Robinson’s vehicle, which in turn caused a fourth vehicle to veer over so as not to hit the third vehicle. In all the confusion, one of the cars struck and killed Robinson as he lay bleeding in the road.

Investigators are still trying to make sense of the catastrophe, and charges are pending in the crash.

Robinson’s children, who are six and 11, were taken to a nearby hospital with serious injuries.

If You Were Injured by a Careless Driver, You Have Options

Car accidents like these are not always preventable, but the driver’s death could certainly have been prevented. We need to remember to be more careful on the road. If you or someone you know was injured due to a negligent driver, you need to contact an experienced Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. personal injury attorney for a free consultation about your case.

Did You Know? In crashes, unbelted backseat passengers increase the risk of belted front seat occupants’ death by nearly five times.

Koonz, McKenney, Johnson & DePaolis L.L.P.

Maryland, Washington, D.C. and Virginia Injury Attorneys


About the Author
Peter DePaolis joined the firm in 1980 and has since represented a large number of individuals involved in automobile collisions, truck accidents, bus crashes, defective products, and medical malpractice cases. A significant portion of Mr. DePaolis’ practice is devoted to working on behalf of people suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related cancers. He has led his firm’s fight against the asbestos industry and has recovered over $30 million in damages for asbestos victims and their families.