Automobile accidents due to distracted driving, speeding, hazardous roadways and other causes can result in serious injuries and death despite the best preparations. The first, best preparation for every driver and passenger is to use a seat belt for every trip.
This advice is important for drivers of all ages, but buckling up is especially vital for younger drivers, for whom car accidents are the leading cause of death. Chicago personal injury attorneys and other safety advocates are painfully aware of this.
Yet according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), vehicle occupants between 16 and 24 have the lowest seat belt usage of all Americans.
Illinois teenagers regularly see firsthand why they should comply with seatbelt laws and buckle up for safety. As a part of local public safety efforts, Illinois State Police often deploy the “Seat Belt Convincer,” a safety education tool that allows participants to experience the security that safety restraints provide when a car crashes. The seat belt convincer allows a strapped-in rider to slide down a ramp under controlled conditions and experience the force of crashes as high as seven miles per hour.
Another reason for compliance: Illinois laws impose a $25 dollar fine, as well as potential court costs, for anyone who fails to heed the state safety belt laws. The basic provisions under Illinois motor vehicle safety laws include:
- Drivers and front seat passengers must wear a suitably adjusted seat safety belt and keep it fastened.
- If the driver is under 18, each of the driver’s passengers under 19 years throughout the vehicle must wear a safety belt.
- Any driver transporting a child between eight and 15 years of age must ensure that he or she is wearing a seat belt or secured in an appropriate child restraint system.
- Any person driving a vehicle with a child under eight years as a passenger must ensure that an appropriate child restraint system is used.
In the aftermath of any car or truck accident, legal issues often arise over fault and damages. Families who suffer tragic losses due to another driver’s negligence can explore their legal options by consulting with a personal injury attorney.