Broward Traffic Safety Watch: Night Driving and Seat Belts

You better buckle your seat belt if you don’t want to get a ticket (or you don’t want to get injured in an accident).

According to officials with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), law enforcement officers throughout the country will be on the hunt as part of the “Click It or Ticket” safety campaign. They’ll be looking for motorists without a seat belt on — both day and night.

Our Fort Lauderdale car accident lawyers understand that motorists are less likely to wear their seat belt at night — and this is when fatal traffic accidents are most likely to occur. Although we saw a record high of seat belt usage in 2012 (more than 85 percent), we’re still losing thousands of lives out there in collisions.

According to recent studies, we can thank seat belts for saving roughly 12,000 lives in 2011. Officials believe that if all motorists were to buckle up during every car ride, we could have saved another 3,500 people. The proof is in the numbers. It’s time to buckle up to stay alive. You may think your safe-driving habits are going to be enough, but you’ve got to remember that accidents do happen. You’ve got to be ready whenever those unexpected accidents occur.

“The ‘Click it or Ticket’ program builds on those earlier efforts – sharing the message that seat belts save lives,” said DOT Secretary Ray LaHood.

More than 60 percent of motorists who were killed in a nighttime accident were not wearing a seat belt at the time of collision. That’s compared to the less than 45 percent who die in an accident during the day.

So how many lives could seat belts save in Florida? Consider this: In 2010, there were more than 235,000 motor vehicle accidents reported in the state. When you break it down, that means that there were close to 650 accidents each and every day.

According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV), there were close to 2,500 motorists who were killed in these accidents. Another 200,000 people were injured. Could fewer have been injured with more seat belt usage? You bet! Even conservative federal stats would put lives saved in Florida at 250 a year or more.

Whether you want to avoid getting a costly citation, or you want a better chance of surviving an accident, you should remember to buckle your seat belt during each and every car ride. It’s important to make sure that everyone in your vehicle is buckled too, especially your little ones.

Just as a refresher, don’t forget Florida’s seat belt laws: All front seat passengers and all passengers under the age of 18 are required to wear a seat belt. All children under the age of 18 fall under the Florida Child Restraint Requirements.

Accident victims can contact Fort Lauderdale Accident Attorney Richard Ansara at 954 761-3641 or toll-free at 877-277-3780 for a free and confidential consultation.

More Blog Entries:

Cell Phone-Using Drivers Endangering South Florida Cyclists and Pedestrians, Broward Injury Lawyer Blog, April 9, 2013

Lauderdale Bicycle and Pedestrian Accidents Often Caused by Distracted Drivers, Broward Injury Lawyer Blog, March 27, 2013

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