Seat Belt and Air Bag Injuries Can Be Avoided
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento car accident lawyer. Safety features in cars are designed to help keep you safe in a collision. However, sometimes the safety feature itself can cause injuries, including seat belts and airbags. According to the National Safety Council, collisions caused 40,000 deaths in 2017 and a much higher number of injuries. The following information can tell you how to properly wear a seat belt to lower your risk of injuries and the types of trauma caused by restraints and airbags.
How to Wear a Seat Belt
While these instructions might seem like they are not needed, many people get injured every year from wearing a seat belt incorrectly. Using the following buckle up for safety information will help in all types of accidents.
- Make sure the shoulder harness is tight across the shoulder and chest. Never wear it behind your back or underneath your arm.
- The lap belt should fit snugly across the hips. Wearing the lap belt across the abdomen can increase injuries.
- Sit up straight with your back directly against the seat.
Injuries Caused by a Seat Belt
Although seat belts have been shown to save many lives each year, injuries can occur if worn incorrectly. Speeding when in a collision is also more likely to result in injuries from a seat belt or failure of the restraint device. Following are some injuries that can occur from improper belt usage. While they may seem serious, they are much less severe than if an individual is not buckled in.
- Damage to the sternum and chest: Because the shoulder belt crosses these areas, the impact of a collision can cause injury, especially if it is worn incorrectly or defective. A broken sternum is a common result, and bruising is possible. However, the shoulder belt prevents more serious injuries.
- Lacerations or abrasions can occur in a collision. They heal quickly and they are a small price to pay compared to a collision without belt protection.
- Rib bruising and fractures can occur in a severe accident at higher speeds.
- Shoulder injuries happen and damage muscles or tendons.
Airbags were designed to protect those inside motor vehicles from serious injury in a collision by keeping them from impacting with the steering wheel, dash or sides of the car. They automatically deploy in a vehicle when it is involved in a crash. However, there are safety measures associated with airbags, which can damage rather than protect an individual if they are improperly used.
- Having the seat adjusted so the driver and passengers are close to the dash can increase the likelihood of injuries. If possible, it is better to have the seat back.
- Grip the steering wheel at the traditional 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock position.
- Keep children, under the age of 12 or below the minimum weight limit for the front, in the back seat.
- Airbags are provided as additional protection to seat belts. Always wear seat restraints in your vehicle.
- When defective airbags that have been called back, such as those involved in the Takata recall, the owner should have it replaced. This is an example of automotive product liability.
Air Bag Injuries
Severe injuries can result when a driver does not follow recommendations for those riding in the front seat of a vehicle, and the airbags deploy. These include:
- Facial, upper chest and arm abrasions or burns
- Swelling or bruising of the brain
- Skin and throat irritation
- Internal bleeding
- Neck injuries
- Eye damage or a broken nose, along with facial lacerations.
Sacramento Car Accident and Personal Injury Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento car accident lawyer. Defective airbags or seat belts can cause accidents. If this happened to you or a loved one, you may be able to obtain compensation for your injuries. For friendly, compassionate advice that is free, phone me at (916) 921-6400 or on my toll-free line at (800) 404-5400.
I am a proud member of millioncollaradvocates.com, which limits its membership to those trial attorneys who have garnered one million dollars in verdicts/settlements for previous clients.
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Photo Attribution: https://pixabay.com/en/car-law-road-warning-seat-buckle-44127/
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