When you get in your car, you likely have a routine you complete before driving off. Most of these actions are muscle memory, from checking your mirrors to playing your favorite album. However, when you forget to start a song, it’s no big deal. On the other hand, forgetting to wear a seat belt can have serious ramifications. If you were injured in a car accident, wearing your seatbelt or not, contact a Chesterfield County car accident lawyer to help review your case.
It Is Illegal Not to Wear a Seat Belt
Though there are many reasons to wear a seat belt, one of the most compelling is that it is illegal not to! You have likely seen signs around South Carolina reminding you to buckle up, otherwise, you could face a violation.
In previous years, police officers were only able to issue a citation to a motorist not wearing a seat belt if they were stopped for other traffic violations. However, this law has changed, granting officers the ability to pull over and cite anyone not wearing a seatbelt.
Prevents Serious Injury
Another one of the most compelling reasons to wear a seatbelt is because it can prevent serious harm should you get into an accident. If you are in a car accident, you may find that your airbags alone cannot help prevent injuries. When combined with the use of seatbelts, your odds of sustaining severe injuries are significantly decreased.
Similarly, wearing a seat belt can help you avoid injuries like whiplash if you need to stop short or break. Because you are strapped to the seat, you won’t fly forward, preventing head and neck injuries from occurring.
Also, if you aren’t wearing a seat belt and an accident occurs, you will likely move around within the vehicle. This means your odds of injuring the other passengers are high, as there is nothing holding you in place. You could collide with your passengers, causing further harm.
Seat Belts Save Lives
Another clear reason to wear seat belts is the fact that they can help save lives. One of the leading causes of injury and death is ejection from the vehicle upon impact. However, wearing a seatbelt can hold you in place, ensuring you stay secured to your seat.
This helps prevent death upon impact or injuries that later lead to death. Taking two seconds to secure your seat belt can help you live a long life.
When Should I Contact a Lawyer?
If you are injured in a car accident, you may be hesitant to contact a lawyer if you weren’t wearing a seat belt. However, South Carolina law does not prevent those not wearing a seat belt from filing a lawsuit against a negligent driver. While this shouldn’t encourage you to skip the seat belt, it does provide peace of mind that your case won’t be affected by the failure to buckle up.
Sustaining injuries due to a car accident is never fun. It’s important to get the justice you deserve. Contact the Cockrell Law Firm, P.C. today for a free consultation. Don’t forget to buckle up before you take off!