Seat belts in Car Accidents
Authorities in central Pennsylvania say two people were killed when a sport utility vehicle hit a utility pole and rolled over several times. Chief of the Freedom Township police force said the SUV had been heading south when it went out of control and hit the pole. The Blair County coroner’s office said the 30-year-old and 21-year-old were thrown from the vehicle and pronounced dead at the scene. The Coroner also said the victims were not wearing seat belts.
Lap and shoulder belts reduce the risk of critical injuries and death by about 50 percent, but they need to be used to work. The fatality statistics of those involved in car accidents who do not wear seat belts are staggering. Car drivers who die in crashes are likely to be unbuckled. In 2011, seat belts saved an estimated 11,949 lives. 3,384 people would have lived if everyone wore their seat belts.
In Pennsylvania it is required by law that you wear a safety belt if you are in a in a vehicle. If you are injured in a car accident that is not your fault, you may think that your case will become more complicated if it is proven by the defense that you were not wearing a safety belt. This is not true in the state of Pennsylvania. Even if you are involved in an accident where you are not wearing your seatbelt, Pennsylvania courts have held that evidence of not wearing a seat belt is not admissible in a civil matter.
Still, buckle up, or it is likely you will not be around to personally file your case.