Connecticut was one of the first states to pass a mandatory seat belt law (in 1986). However it only specified the driver and passengers in the front seat. Passengers in the back seat did not have to wear one unless under the age of 16. Recently, new state law dropped that age limit and now requires any back seat occupant to be strapped in. In essence, everyone must wear a seat belt!
Why is it Important to Wear a Seat Belt?
This may sound like an obvious answer, but it is one that bears repeating. Not only is it the law to wear a seat belt in Connecticut, but it can also save your life or prevent serious injuries in the event of an accident. In fact, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 51 percent of the 23,824 passengers that were killed in car accidents in 2020 were unrestrained. Seat belts can:
- Keep you in the car (25 times more likely to be injured or killed if ejected)
- Spread the force of impact
- Prevent you from colliding with objects in the car or other occupants
- Help you remain in control of the car
Common Injuries Caused by Not Wearing a Seat Belt
There are a number of injuries that can be caused by an occupant’s failure to wear a seat-belt. Some common injuries caused by not wearing a seat belt include:
- Whiplash - Caused by the head moving too far forward or backward beyond its normal range causing neck strain and damage to ligaments or muscles.
- Broken bones - Can often occur when an unrestrained occupant hits something inside the car such as the steering wheel or dashboard or is ejected from the vehicle during an accident.
- Organ damage - Can occur when an unrestrained occupant collides with something inside the car or is ejected from the vehicle causing organs to rupture or bleed internally.
- Death - Can result from any of these severe injuries or from being ejected from the vehicle during an accident.
When Seat Belts Break
Although rarer than people think, there are instances where seat belts may break during an accident due to manufacturing defects. While seat belts are designed to be strong and durable, they can break in a car accident if the force is great enough. If your seat belt breaks and you are injured as a result, you may be able to hold the seat belt manufacturer liable for your injuries.
Seeking a Car Accident Attorney in Hartford, CT?
If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident due to a defective or poorly designed seat belt, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. The experienced personal injury attorneys at David A. Zipfel & Associates, LLC will be able to help you investigate your claim and determine who may be held liable for your injuries.
Contact us today at (860) 528-4567 or fill out or form online for a free initial consultation.