Mann, Wyatt & Rice Midwest Injury Firm

Occupants in Passenger Vehicles Most at Risk for Traffic Accident Fatalities

Passenger Safety Crucial in Helping Decrease Vehicular Deaths in United States


Hutchinson, KS -- (ReleaseWire) -- 07/27/2015 --The high number of passenger vehicle occupant deaths is an alarming trend that affects tens of thousands of motorists every year. In 2013, there were 21,268 passenger vehicle occupant deaths, which accounted for 65 percent of all vehicular fatalities that year (U.S. Department of Transportation). The same study also notes that 53 percent of passenger vehicle occupant deaths were caused by frontal impacts, while 25 percent were from side impacts.

"Occupants of cars, minivans, pickups, SUVs and cargo/large passenger vans all face significant risks in a traffic accident," says Scott Mann, auto accident attorney of Mann Law Offices. "This is especially true for children and other passengers who are not wearing a seatbelt. According to the most recent reports, 27 percent of passenger vehicle occupants who lose there lives are 25 or younger."

Passengers in smaller vehicles are at a higher risk for death when involved in accidents with larger vehicles. However, passengers of SUVs and pickups are more susceptible in fatal single-vehicle crashes due to rollovers. In 2013, rollovers caused 7,067 passenger vehicle occupant deaths, and almost 30 percent of those accidents did not involve a collision (U.S. Department of Transportation). Since 1975, pickup occupant deaths have increased by 15 percent, while SUV occupant fatalities have increased by a staggering 900 percent (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety).

"Wearing a seatbelt is the most effective safety precaution passengers can take to protect themselves," says Mike Wyatt, auto accident attorney of Mann Law Offices. "There is a common misconception that passengers don't need seatbelts if they are sitting in the backseat. However, this puts them at considerable risk. Passengers of all ages need to buckle up no matter the type of vehicle, or where they are sitting."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), wearing a seatbelt decreases the chance of a fatality by 50 percent. In 2011, 33 percent of children killed in traffic accidents were not wearing a seatbelt (CDC). Passengers need to securely fasten both the lap and shoulder part of the belt every time they get in an automobile. In addition to seatbelt safety, drivers of SUVs and pickup trucks need to safely follow basic traffic laws to avoid rollovers and collisions with smaller vehicles.