Seat belts play a major role in saving lives and preventing the potentially debilitating personal injuries that can result from even relatively minor car crashes and collisions. But there are still those who neglect to use them. A recent car accident in Aiken highlights the potential risk you take when failing to fasten your seatbelt when you get behind the wheel.
Aiken Car Accident Results In Injuries and Fatality
An Aiken County car accident claimed the life of a Johnston man on April 6, 2019. According to the Aiken Standard, the crash occurred at roughly 11:30 p.m. that Saturday night, just north of Reynolds Pond Road on S.C. 19. Witnesses and police reports state that the victim was driving a 2004 Nissan Altima, which ended up crossing the centerline. It collided with a 2006 Jeep Grand Cherokee heading the opposite direction. The Nissan driver, who was not wearing a seatbelt, reportedly suffered severe bodily trauma and died at the scene. A passenger in the vehicle was taken to a nearby hospital with serious injuries.
The driver of the Jeep Cherokee was also taken to the hospital. Authorities described his injuries as ‘non-life threatening’. He was wearing a seat belt at the time the collision occurred, which likely saved him from suffering more serious damages as a result of the crash.
How Seatbelts Save Lives
South Carolina requires both drivers and passengers in motor vehicles to be buckled up at all times. Seat belt laws were put in place here and in states throughout the country after overwhelming evidence on the role wearing one plays in terms of saving lives when car crashes and collisions do occur. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), wearing a seatbelt reduces your injury risks by as much as 50 percent. In addition to this sobering statistic, they urge all drivers to be aware of the following facts:
Airbags are designed to work with seat belts. They do not replace them.
To be effective, the shoulder harness must be engaged and the lap belt should go across your hips, not your stomach.
If you have trouble getting your seatbelt to fit comfortably, the vehicle manufacturer can help by installing one in a different size.
Being buckled in to a lap and shoulder harness is the single most effective way to prevent car accident injuries. It can keep you from striking the windshield or being thrown from the vehicle in the event of a major crash. In a more minor collision, a seat belt can prevent you from being jerked violently forward, resulting in injuries such as whiplash and muscle strains, while also keeping you from hitting the dashboard or the backs of seats.
Let Us Help You Today
At the Surasky Law Firm, LLC, we are dedicated to protecting you when accidents and injuries occur. If you are involved in a crash, contact our Aiken car accident attorney and request a consultation to discuss how we may be able to help you get the compensation you need to recover.