Posted by: Salvatore J. Zambri, founding partner
Since 1993, when the first "Click It or Ticket" campaign began in North Carolina, seat belt enforcement campaigns have become standard nationwide in an effort to to reduce highway fatalities.
According to the annual "Click It or Ticket" press release from the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA), 45 million Americans continue to ignore warnings and encouragements to use seat-belts while riding in motor vehicles. Included among the statistics from NHTSA: "…in 2008 alone, nearly 14,000 unbuckled passenger vehicle occupants lost their lives on U.S. roadways. Nearly half of them could have been saved if they had been belted." The following shocking statistics from 2008 show the results of not wearing seat belts:
- 70% of teens killed in traffic accidents were not wearing seat belts;
- 65% of those between ages 21 to 34 involved in fatal crashes were not wearing seat belts between 2004-2008;
- 65% of male passenger fatalities were not buckled up; 45% of females were not;
- 68% of fatalities among pickup drivers and passengers didn’t wear seat belts;
- 62% of SUV occupants killed were not wearing seat belts; and
- Nearly two-thirds (64%) of nighttime drivers and passengers who died were not wearing seat belts compared to less than half (45%) of those killed during the daytime.
The "Click It or Ticket" campaign for 2010 runs from May 24 to June 6. During this period, more than 10,000 police agencies are involved in promoting and enforcing seat belt usage.
I have reproduced, below, the DOT press release in its entirety for you. Please buckle-up when in a vehicle of any kind. Every year I represent many people who are tragically injured in car, truck, motorcycle, and off-road vehicular accidents. All-too-often the catastrophic injuries suffered by my clients could have been mitigated if they were wearing seat-belts.
Please travel safely.
U.S. DOT Targets 45 Million Americans Still Not Buckling Up
Monday, May, 24, 2010
"WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood today announced that while seat belt use is at a record high 84 percent nationwide, 45 million Americans are still not buckling up when riding in motor vehicles. In an effort to increase belt use and save lives, the Secretary today kicked off Click It or Ticket, a national enforcement mobilization that encourages all motorists to wear their seat belts – day and night. Drivers caught not wearing their seat belt run the risk of being ticketed.
"We’ve made great strides to get Americans to buckle up, but we must not rest on our laurels," said Secretary LaHood. "Not wearing your seat belt is a serious, life-threatening practice. If you are one of the 45 million Americans who won’t buckle up, our Click It or Ticket enforcement mobilization will be looking for you."
On any given day about 38 people who are not buckled-up are killed in motor vehicle crashes, according to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In 2008 alone, nearly 14,000 unbuckled passenger vehicle occupants lost their lives on U.S. roadways. Nearly half of them could have been saved if they had been belted. Click here to view map.
NHTSA statistics also show that those least likely to buckle-up are teens; young adults; males; nighttime riders; motorists traveling on rural roads; and individuals traveling in pick-up trucks. Click here to view statistics.
"Regular seat belt use is the single best way to protect yourself and your family in motor vehicle crashes," said NHTSA Administrator David Strickland. "Wearing your seat belt costs you nothing. But the cost for not wearing one certainly will. Don’t risk your life, or getting a ticket. Please remember to buckle up day and night – every trip, every time."
The "Click It or Ticket" campaign is set to run from May 24 through June 6, 2010. The mobilization, expected to involve more than 10,000 police agencies, is supported by $8 million in national advertising funded through Congress and coordinated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The ads, which will air in English and Spanish, generate awareness of the increased enforcement efforts and the increased chance of getting a ticket if you are not buckled up. Ads will be aired on television, radio, and online."
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About the author:
Mr. Zambri is a Past-President of the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan Washington, D.C. and has been rated by Washingtonian magazine as a "Big Gun" and among the "top 1%" of all lawyers in the Washington metropolitan area. The magazine also describes him as "one of Washington’s best–most honest and effective lawyers" who specializes in personal injury matters, including serious truck and car collisions. Mr. Zambri has also been repeatedly named a "Super Lawyer" by Law and Politics magazine–a national publication that honors the top lawyers in America.
Mr. Zambri is regularly asked to give presentations to lawyers and businesses regarding product defects, automobile accident litigation, and safety improvements.
Mr. Zambri has authored an article regarding how automobile collision cases are evaluated. To read it, please click here.
To read an article published by one of Mr. Zambri’s clients, who was injured in a tragic automobile collision, please click here.
Many Americans are killed or critically injured each year in vehicular collisions. If you want more information about your legal rights, please email Mr. Zambri at email@example.com or call him at 202-822-1899.