It can feel like the list of various forms of negligence frequently cited in fatal wrecks in Alabama is endless: drunk drivers, drugged drivers, texting drivers, drowsy drivers, distracted drivers. Sometimes it feels like a car accident is inevitable. Unfortunately, some accidents are inevitable for victims because there is often very little that an innocent driver can do to anticipate an oncoming negligent driver.
However, injuries do not always have to be inevitable. In many instances, a driver or passenger's likelihood of surviving a crash with less-severe injuries is hugely increased if the car traveler chooses to buckle up. A sobering statistic that stands as a reminder of this fact is that about 60 percent of victims killed in fatal car accidents last year did not have a seat belt on at the time of impact, according to the Alabama Department of Transportation.
It is difficult to speculate what the fatality rate would have looked like if all of these victims wore seat belts. Certainly, seat belts will never prevent all accidents from being fatal. However, the numbers speak for themselves. While a seat belt will not prevent an accident, a seat belt does increase safety and mitigate the risk of catastrophic injuries and death.
While state law does stipulate that passengers 15 years old or younger must wear seat belts in Alabama, it is really in the best interest of all drivers and passengers alike to buckle up whenever in a vehicle.
If an individual in Alabama is seriously injured by a negligent driver, compensation can be available. However, no money will let a paralyzed victim walk again, or return a killed parent to a child. Only a keen effort toward safety can work to prevent such tragic happenings across roads in Alabama. Do not leave your family wondering what would have happened had you been buckled.
Source: Insurance Journal, "Seat Belts Not Buckled in 59% of Alabama Car Crash Fatalities," April 4, 2013