According to a study conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), on average, rural roads are deadlier than city streets, however, rural drivers remain less likely to wear seatbelts.
The study found that fatal injuries in car crashes were higher in suburban areas in the northeast than in urban centers. In addition, rural counties in the country have car accident death rates three to ten times higher than urban counties. According to the study, this is because rural states and counties have less primary enforcement for seat belt violations. In most cities, not wearing a seatbelt is a primary offense, which means that a police officer may stop the vehicle because a person in the car is not wearing a seat belt.
However, when failing to wear a seatbelt is a secondary offense, a police officer may not stop a vehicle for this violation alone. Here, the second offense must be accompanied with a primary offense in order for the police officer to stop the vehicle and issue a ticket.
In New York State, failing to wear a seatbelt is a primary offense, while in other places in the Northeast, it is a secondary offense. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, wearing a seatbelt significantly decreases the risk of severe injuries in an automobile accident.
Wearing a seatbelt:
- Is the most effective way to reduce the risk of death in an automobile accident;
- Saves approximately 300,000 lives each year;
- Reduces fatal injuries by approximately 45%, and critical injuries by approximately 50%; and
- For truck drivers, it reduces fatal injuries by approximately 60%, and critical injuries by approximately 65%.
According to the report, the rate of seatbelt usage increases with more stringent enforcement. Additionally, wearing a seatbelt decreases the likelihood of being involved in a fatal crash.
It is important to always wear a seatbelt to minimize the seriousness of injuries resulting from an automobile accident. However, if you or a loved one has suffered injuries from an automobile accident, contact a New York personal injury attorney who is experienced in handling these matters. Put the experienced Brooklyn, New York automobile accident attorneys of Georgaklis & Mallas, PLLC on your side to vigorously represent you and fight for the compensation you and your family deserve. Contact (718) 238-2400 to schedule a consultation with our automobile accident lawyers today.