If wearing your seat belt is not part of your driving routine, you are breaking the law. While law enforcement officials usually do not pull drivers over just for seat belt infractions, that was not the case during National Click It or Ticket week in the United States, which occurred in late May. Over one hundred police departments throughout New Jersey, including those on the county level, participated in the program. With this campaign, departments received federal grants that helped put more law enforcement on the roads to ensure seat belt safety.
However, the number of participating departments is down considerably from last year, when 350 departments were involved. New Jersey police issued 17,792 seat belt citations during National Click It or Ticket week in 2017. Along with seat belt violations, police officers issued tickets to 6,363 drivers for speeding, 2,594 for using a cellphone while driving, 823 for driving while intoxicated, 498 for improper child restraints, and 153 for drug possession during the period.
Seat Belts Save Lives
In 2016, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration credited seat belts saving 14,668 lives. Drivers and passengers who do not wear seat belts and experience an accident are more likely to suffer fatal injuries from avoidable situations, such as being thrown from the vehicle. Others may not exit the vehicle but can suffer serious injuries or fatality from hitting the windshield.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over half of the people fatally injured each year in motor vehicle accidents were not wearing seat belts at the time of the impact. For those in the driver or front passenger seats, the CDC reports that seat belts reduce the risk of being fatally injured by 45 percent and cuts the rate of serious injuries in half. When someone is ejected from a vehicle because they were not wearing a seat belt, they have a 75 percent chance of suffering fatal injuries.
Safety versus Tickets
More people are buckling up, but there are always outliers. For the latter, the fear of getting a ticket appears to outweigh their concern for personal safety, but any program that can influence them to buckle up is helpful. According to the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General, seat belt use is now at 94 percent, a record high. Targeting the six percent who still do not regularly use seat belts is a worthwhile endeavor, even if it takes the threat of a ticket to comply.
Cherry Hill Car Accident Lawyers at DiTomaso Law Fight for Victims Injured in Car Accidents
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a car accident because of another driver’s negligence or recklessness, you need the services of the experienced Cherry Hill car accident lawyers at DiTomaso Law. To schedule a free confidential consultation, call us today at 856-414-0010 or submit an online inquiry form. With offices in Philadelphia and Cherry Hill, New Jersey, we proudly serve clients from the surrounding areas.