No matter where you live or work in Maryland, be it Owings Mills, The District, Annapolis or Columbia, car wrecks, pickup truck crashes and SUV rollovers can happen without notice. In fact, traffic accidents across the state injure hundreds of people every year. Some of those injuries and even a few deaths could likely have been prevented had the occupants been wearing their seatbelts.
As an experienced auto accident lawyer in the Baltimore area, my years of helping others recover from injury accidents have taught me that certain habits can save lives; others, however, can sadly contribute to the loss of life on our public streets and highways. One habit I’m always happy to see is when a person buckles that safety belt. It’s a small part of every driver’s daily ritual, but it’s a significant one.
Seatbelt use is usually pointed at as one of the top reasons why people survive automobile wrecks. There are many out there, I suspect, who feel that airbags and other safety devices do a better job, but that’s not necessarily true — all of these systems work together to imporve passenger safety. As basic as they may seem, safety belts play a key role in protecting occupants in the case of severe traffic accidents, including head-on collisions, roll-over accidents and other potentially fatal crashes.
It makes little difference what type of vehicle you drive — SUV, pickup truck, luxury sedan or economy passenger car — wearing your seatbelt mean the difference between living through a bad car or truck accident and dying in one.
Every week, it’s possible to hear more than one news report that shows a crash survivor was using his or her seatbelt at the time of the collision. Similarly, one can also find instances where the lack of safety belt use most likely played a significant role in the death of a driver or passenger. At best, broken bones or traumatic brain injury have been known to occur when an un-belted person impacts a stationary object within the vehicle during a crash.
Rollover accidents in particular are very dramatic and can happen independently, or as a result of an initial collision. This kind of accident can cause serious bodily injuries including broken bones and lacerations, as well as head and spine trauma and internal injuries. Lack of seatbelt use in a rollover crash can be fatal since the occupants themselves become projectiles, occasionally be ejected from the vehicle altogether during the incident.
While it is true that many car and truck accidents cannot be avoided, being prepared for the worse by wearing your seatbelt is an easy way of increasing the odds in your favor — odds that can often be stacked against automobile drivers and passengers in our fast-paced and many times highly distracted commuting environment.