Seatbelts have been a hot topic over the years with Maryland and other states promoting increased safety belt usage through public service campaigns, traffic safety legislation and enhanced police enforcement. While it could be said that most drivers understand the benefit of seat belt use as it applies to preventing or reducing serious injury or death as a result of a car crash or truck accident, there remains a portion of the driving public that ignore the safety aspect of these simple yet highly effective devices.
Some of the blame for non-use of safety belts has been placed on the effectiveness of air bags in helping passenger car occupants avoid serious or life-threatening injuries in the case of traffic collisions. And although some airbags are meant to reduce the chance of a person being ejected from a vehicle during a minivan, light truck or car crash, many experts would likely agree that seat belts are better at keeping a person from being thrown from a motor vehicle.
As a Maryland personal injury lawyer and automobile accident attorney, I understand the tragic results of single- and multi-car traffic accidents. Single-vehicle crashes can be just as serious as those involving more than one car, sport utility vehicle or motorcycle hitting another car or commercial truck. And, being ejected from a vehicle as part of a serious crash can be much worse for an individual than the initial collision might have been.
A recent news article shows that this indeed can happen to even a driver of a crashing car or truck. According to the news report, three Maryland residents were hospitalized when the SUV in which they were traveling hit a tree late on a Saturday evening.
According to Frederick County officials, the accident happened on Alternate US 40 between Middletown and Frederick just before midnight. Police reports show that a Mercury Mountaineer with three occupants was traveling eastbound when for some reason the driver apparently lost control and the vehicle veered off the roadway and struck a nearby tree.
The force of the crash reportedly caused the driver, Job Smith, to be thrown from the vehicle and back onto the roadway. Emergency responders treated smith and the other occupants and then transported them to local medical facilities. Smith and one passenger were taken by helicopter to the University of Maryland R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore where they were listed in serious condition a couple days later.
A third passenger was taken via ambulance to Washington County Hospital and was listed in fair condition on the following Monday evening, according to hospital officials. According to reports, Alternate US 40 was shut down for about 45 minutes after the crash to allow police to investigate the accident scene. No mention of defective equipment was given as a potential reason for the accident.
Three remain in hospital following SUV crash, Herald-Mail.com, August 15, 2010