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Protection and Harm Caused by Seatbelt Use

15th March 2010
By Mesriani Law Group in Personal Injury
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Protection Provided by Seatbelts

According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA), seatbelts are responsible for saving the lives about 13,000 in the United States annually. In addition, the agency estimated that about 7,000 car accident fatalities could have been prevented if the people involved were wearing their seatbelts at time of the incident.

Seatbelts are designed to keep people from flying through the car's windshield or getting thrown violently towards the dashboard when the vehicle suddenly stops. It is primarily used to lessen the injury by stopping users from hitting against the vehicle's hard interiors.

The quality of seatbelts has been getting better and better due to the advancement in technology today. Seatbelts have gone through different changes since it was introduced to offer more protection to vehicle occupants.

However, it can also cause injures when an accident happens. Sometimes, people are not injured in the actual accident, but due to seatbelt use.

Use of Seatbelts in Vehicle Crashes

Two collisions are often seen as typical vehicle crashes. The initial collision happens when the vehicle crashes to another vehicle or object. Meanwhile, the second collision happens when the occupants collide with the vehicle's interior structure or when they are thrown off to the ground. Seatbelts are expected to either stop the second collision or minimize the passenger's possible injuries.

Defective Seatbelts

Although seatbelts can provide greater protection, it may not be felt by passengers if there is a construction or design flaw in such tool.

When defective seatbelts are installed in a car, there will be a high probability that it will not work properly when an accident occurs. As a result, passengers will be vulnerable to different injuries or even death.

Some defective seatbelts involve the following:

• Ripped or torn webbing

• insufficient seatbelt geometry

• false latching or unlatching

• retractor failure

Rib injury is an example of harm that a defective seatbelt can cause. It may be sustained even during low-impact crashes when the integrity or positioning of the seatbelt adds up to the damage caused by the incident. Rib injury can also result to soft tissue injuries of the body's organs that the rib cage protects.

Shattered or broken rib injuries can be dangerous because broken portions or jagged edges can result to severe and deadly injury to the internal organs of the abdominal or chest region.

Aside from rib injuries, a defective seatbelt can also cause:

• Quadriplegia

• Paraplegia

• Traumatic brain injury

Meanwhile, secondary injuries that may be sustained include:

• Burst appendix

• Aneurism

• Vertebrae injuries

• Cracked sternum

Protect your Rights with Assistance from Lawyers

If a defective seatbelt caused you or your loved one to suffer from an injury, do not think twice before seeking assistance from expert lawyers. These professionals will help you build a strong case against the negligent person who caused your suffering.

To help you pursue claims for seatbelt injuries sustained in a vehicle accident, consult with our skilled personal injury lawyers. Visit our website and avail of our free case analysis.
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