Mann, Wyatt & Rice Midwest Injury Firm

Seat Belt Laws Not Preventing Traffic Fatalities


Hutchinson, KS -- (ReleaseWire) -- 11/26/2014 --The rise of traffic accident fatalities despite the enforcement of stricter seat belt laws is a growing safety concern for Kansas motorists. Statistics published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicate that seat belts reduce the number of fatalities by 50 percent when properly worn. However, drivers are still not wearing their seat belts.

“After becoming a Primary Law in 2010, Kansas police officers are required to enforce the adult safety belt law,” says Scott Mann, auto accident attorney at Mann Law Offices. “This means that the driver or front seat passenger can be issued a ticket if they are not wearing a seat belt.”

However, the CDC shows that increased seat belt laws in Kansas and 48 other states have not influenced drivers, especially teenagers, to wear their seat belts. Fifty-five percent of the teenagers who died in traffic accidents in 2012 were not wearing seat belts.

This statistic extends to adults under the age of 35 who wear seat belts less often than adults 35 years and older (CDC). It is hardly a coincidence that traffic accidents are the leading cause of death for adults under the age of 35.

“Many people think they don’t need seat belts when driving short distances, or cite being a ‘good driver’ as justification,” says Mann. “However, the majority of fatalities on the road occur within a 30-mile radius of the home. Accidents happen quickly without enough time to react. The skill of the driver has no correlation with surviving an accident and not wearing a seat belt.”

Wearing the seat belt the correct way also plays a role in reducing serious injuries and fatality. Both the shoulder strap and lap belt need to be securely worn to lessen the impact of the accident.

“In an auto accident there are two collisions,” says Mike Wyatt, personal injury attorney at Mann Law Offices. “The collision of the car’s exterior, and that of the person colliding with the car’s interior. A properly won seat belt is the best prevention against a serious injury or fatality in the event of a traffic accident.”