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Wearing a Seat Belt Can Make the Difference Between Life and Death

Wearing a Seat Belt Can Make the Difference Between Life and Death

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At Nunes Law, our Fresno personal injury attorneys know for most California residents, putting on their seat belts is second nature. For others, whether they are in a hurry, distracted, or simply forget, many people do not wear their seat belts, and can end up paying for the oversight with their lives.

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for people aged 5 – 34 in the United States. While no one anticipates being in a crash, seat belts are the best defense against impaired, aggressive, and distracted drivers.

The Centers for Disease Control recommends effective, well-enforced seat belt laws to ensure that every person in every seat buckles up on every trip. Like other states, California has a mandatory seat belt law that requires all vehicle occupants aged 16 and over to always wear their seat belts.

Buckling up is the single most effective thing you can do to protect yourself in a crash.


Many Americans understand the lifesaving value of the seat belt, as the national use rate last year was estimated at 90.4%. However, 51% of passenger vehicle occupants killed over the same period were unrestrained, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

According to the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), over 3,600 people were killed in vehicle collisions throughout the state last year. Although California ranks among the highest states for seat belt use, with a rate of nearly 96%, the state reported 620 unrestrained passenger vehicle occupant fatalities over the same period.

Even with safer vehicles, and five-star crash safety ratings, air bags are not enough to protect you or your family during a crash. The force of an air bag can cause serious injuries or death if occupants are not also restrained by seat belts.

When riding in the front seat of a vehicle, seat belt use can reduce your risk of moderate to critical injuries by 50%, and fatal injuries by 45%.

Being buckled up during a crash helps keep you safe and secure inside your vehicle, as being completely ejected from a vehicle is almost always deadly.

Last year alone, seat belt use saved an estimated 14,955 lives throughout the country. You, too, can help decrease your potential for injuries or fatalities by wearing your seat belt each time you get into your or someone else’s car.


Although seat belts and airbags are designed to keep all motorists safer, injuries still occur during some vehicle collisions — especially those involving negligent drivers that catch other motorists by surprise.

If you have been injured by an impaired, speeding, distracted, or otherwise negligent driver, contact our experienced Fresno auto accident attorney at Nunes Law Inc today by calling (559) 702-5124 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation to discuss your legal rights and options to hold the liable party accountable for your complete financial recovery.

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