Car accidents in Charlotte are a daily fact of life. For most people, buckling their seatbelt is like brushing your teeth–it’s something you naturally do before you leave home. For others, there is a litany of excuses of why they don’t wear seatbelts, but these are the people who are at the greatest risk of serious injury or death. The personal injury attorneys at Auger & Auger remind you to please buckle up, and make sure all vehicle occupants, especially children, are properly restrained.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), car accidents are the leading cause of death in the 3 to 14 year old age group. A 2008 study found that of the 5,598 children under the age of 14 that were killed in car accidents in the year 2008. 46% were unrestrained. The study further revealed that proper use of child safety seats reduced fatalities in the under 1 year old age group by 71%, and by 54% in children between 1 and 4.
In June, a 10 month old girl from Raleigh died when the car she was in crashed. North Carolina Highway Patrol reported that the baby, Sophia Peetc, was not properly restrained when her mother, Heather Lucas, lost control of her vehicle and overcorrected, causing the SUV to flip twice and strike a tree. Baby Sophia was ejected from the vehicle, which landed on top of her.
Similarly, in October, a 4 month old girl was killed in Spartanburg, SC, when she was ejected from a vehicle following a single car collision. In that crash, Terrance Murphy lost control of his car, causing it to overturn. South Carolina Highway Patrol reported that four out of the vehicles five occupants were unrestrained, and that in addition to 4 month old Teliya Zanae Murphy, the driver and another passenger were also ejected from the vehicles.
The group with the lowest seatbelt use are the 16-24 year olds. This is particularly troubling, because unlike small children who rely on their parent or caregiver to ensure that they are properly restrained, this group is certainly capable of the simple act of buckling up. Even more troubling is the fact that this age group also has the highest number of reported crashes as well as the highest number of fatalities.
In August, 16 year old Khadijiah Chesney was killed when the car she was a passenger in hit a tree and she was ejected from the vehicle.
In October, two teens from Stanly County were killed when they were ejected from the vehicle they were riding in. According to police, Jordan Carpenter, age 16, swerved his Jeep to avoid hitting a deer. When he tried to correct the vehicle, it rolled. Carpenter’s passengers, 15 year old Austin Burleson, and 16 year old Hunter Mauldin, were ejected and killed.
The injury attorneys at Auger & Auger remind you to keep yourself and your passengers properly restrained. If you have any questions regarding the proper use of a child restrain system, please stop in at the nearest police or fire department for a free check