I am here to help you in your time of need.- Will Dudley
Attorney at Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers
Virginia Seat-Belt Use Reaches An All-Time High
I’m old enough to remember the 1970s when hardly anybody wore a seat belt in their car. Fortunately, those days are long gone. A new survey reveals Virginia seat-belt use is at an all-time high.
According to the Department of Motor Vehicles, Virginia seat-belt use climbed to 85.3 percent. The figures are good news for road safety advocates. However, VDOT is seeking 100 percent compliance.
If you are not wearing a seat-belt, you are more likely to be killed or seriously injured in a crash. Often people who are unrestrained fly out of cars during accidents and are more likely to suffer fatal head injuries.
Although compliance improved in Virginia, VDOT says as many as 236 people died in crashes this year because they were not wearing a seat-belt.
Stephanie Adams talks about wearing a seat-belt when you are pregnant
The new compliance rate is to be celebrated because it’s the first time more than 80 percent of people have belted up. The previous figure hovered around 79 percent for a number of years.
DMV Commissioner and Governor’s Highway Safety Representative Richard Holcomb told the Virginian-Pilot, the figure is good news but there are no grounds for complacency. He said:
“Anytime we see that number go up, it’s a great thing. But as long as Virginians continue to lose their lives because they aren’t wearing their seat-belt, our work is not yet complete.”
The research was gathered by Old Dominion University students who conducted a survey at random locations.
It’s hard to underestimate the importance of wearing a seat-belt. In recent years, more than half of the people who died in crashes in Virginia were not wearing one.
Seat-belt wearers are a staggering 45 percent less likely to lose their lives in a crash, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
About four out of five people who are ejected from their vehicles in a crash, lose their lives. About 30 percent of unbelted drivers and passengers end up being ejected in a crash.
We were happy to read the latest figures relating to Virginia seat-belt use. However, there is still a way to go. You should always wear a seat-belt, even when you are pregnant. In this video, our legal assistant Stephanie Adams demonstrates how a safety belt should be worn when pregnant.
Our personal injury lawyers are often asked by people who were injured in a crash if not wearing a seat-belt impacts their claims. As we explain on our injury blog, it will not impact your claim as long as you were not to blame for the accident itself.
If you have been hurt in a car crash in Virginia, please call me at (757)-455-0077.
John Cooper is a veteran of personal injury law practice in Virginia. A native Virginian, he was raised in Norfolk and Virginia Beach. He has more than 20 years of experience handling personal injury cases and recently handled the largest auto accident settlement in 2010, according to VA Lawyers Weekly. The award provided $3.5 million to a child whose young father died when the vehicle he was a passenger in was rear-ended by a careless truck driver.
Jim Hurley has been practicing law throughout Virginia for more than two-and-a-half decades. During his career, he has tried more than 100 jury trials — a staggering number — and handled hundreds more that were settled out of court. He is guided by the principle that the client is in charge of his or her case and should be kept fully aware of the litigation process. Jim has been awarded an AV Rating by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest rating given, for his practice of law. He was named in Virginia Super Lawyers in 2014, 2015, 2016.
Bill O’Mara started his legal career in 2008, moving back to his home town of Chesapeake, VA. He has practiced in the field of plaintiffs’ personal injury and other litigation. He has gained extensive court room and trial experience, including contested trials before judges and juries across Hampton Roads. In 2014, Mr. O’Mara joined Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers as an associate attorney. He became a partner in 2017.
Cooper Hurley awards three $2,000 college scholarships annually to high school seniors in the Tidewater and Eastern Shore areas of Virginia. Eligible students can submit an essay of 500 to 1,000 words on the subject of Distracted Driving. We established this program to aid worthy scholars and to raise awareness of the tragic consequences of distracted driving, which we encounter too often in our practice.