Millions of drivers throughout the nation have grown accustom to putting on a seatbelt prior to operating a vehicle. As the most accepted safety practice, seatbelt use has contributed to saving a countless number of lives since its introduction to the United States. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), about 84 percent of the total U.S. population used seatbelts in 2011. Seat belt use throughout the nation has seen slight increases for the last 10 years.
North Carolina drivers are required, by law, to wear a safety belt at all times while operating or being a passenger in a motor vehicle. Seat belt use throughout North Carolina has been positive, however, there are still far too many auto accidents occurring involving passengers who chose to not wear a safety belt. Countless statistics and scientific evidence point to the level of safety provided by seatbelts. Those who neglect to wear a seat belt are in serious danger in the event of a traffic crash, especially one in which takes place on North Carolina’s highways.
Mike Lewis Attorneys continues to advocate for seat belt use throughout the state of North Carolina. Since the introduction of three point seatbelts in 1959, it has been proven that wearing a safety belt greatly reduces the likelihood of catastrophic injuries during a motor vehicle crash. If you or a loved one has suffered any type of injury during a crash, Mike Lewis Attorneys is prepared to take on your case today.
To learn more about your legal options, please complete a Free Case Evaluation on this page.
History of Three Point Seatbelts
Three point seatbelts have saved thousands of lives each year since they were introduced in 1959. Recently celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2009, three point seatbelts were invented by Nils Ivar Bohlin, a Swedish aircraft engineer. His designs focused on combining the diagonal belt with the lap belt in order to protect the pelvis and rib cage regions. Today, a modified version of the Bohlin design is placed in each and every motor vehicle made for roadway travel.
Three point seatbelts are not in a locked position while the vehicle is operating normally to provide comfort for the drivers and passengers. As such, today’s three-point harness combines the Bohlin design with a ratchet and pendulum mechanism that allows for the locking during a sudden stop. When a driver quickly hits the brake, the safety belts lock in order to keep the motorist in place.
Three point seatbelts clearly provide optimal protection for North Carolina drivers. However, this protection is vastly limited by proper use. In far too many cases the seat belt users do not have the safety belt properly worn. For instance, many drivers choose to place the diagonal strap behind them for extra comfort. Adjustments such as this place the passenger at serious risk for injury in the case of a traffic accident.
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Advantages of Three Point Seatbelts in NC
In the state of North Carolina, the driver of the vehicle is held responsible for ensuring that he/she and all children under the age of 16 are properly wearing a seat belt when the vehicle is in motion. Any passenger over the age of 16 is responsible for wearing a seat belt by North Carolina law. Generally, any vehicle manufactured after 1967 and any vans or light trucks manufactured after 1971 should have standard three point seatbelts in the vehicle.
North Carolina law states that all drivers and passengers must not only be wearing the safety belt, but must be wearing it properly and at all times. It is illegal to sit in a moving vehicle with the shoulder belt under the arm or behind the back of any passenger occupant. When worn properly, seat belts provide protection from some of the most common and debilitating injuries associated with motor vehicle accidents in North Carolina.
Statistics point to the 45 percent reduction of the risk of a traffic death for front seat passenger when a seat belt is worn properly in a car. In addition, the risk of suffering from a moderate to critical injury sees a 50 percent reduction through the use of safety belts. Finally, three point seatbelts reduce the risk of a fatality in a crash by 60 percent when a safety belt is worn properly during travel in an SUV, pickup truck, or van.
Contact a Knowledgeable Greensboro Accident Lawyer
Mike Lewis Attorneys has proudly provided legal services to North Carolina residents for many, many years. We feel strongly that it is our duty to protect the rights of North Carolina drivers in our pursuit of justice for all. With offices located in Winston-Salem and Greensboro, our legal team is prepared to help residents throughout the entire state.
When the negligence of another driver causes an injury to you or your loved ones, this negligent party must be held liable for their careless actions and pay for any damages suffered by the accident victims. As such, our Greensboro personal injury lawyers work diligently to build a case that awards our clients the maximum compensation possible. If you or a loved one has been injured in a traffic crash, our North Carolina accident injury attorneys are here for you.
Please fill out a Free Case Evaluation form above to speak with a personal injury lawyer today.