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More Texans are Dying Because they Failed to Buckle Up

Texas Car Accident Lawyer | Texans Dying from Lack of Seatbelt Use

Texas saw rising car accident deaths in 2020, even though the total number of crashes actually dropped last year. Sadly, it appears the failure to buckle up was a major contributor to the spike.

“This past year, we have all been reminded of the simple acts we can take to protect our lives and those of our loved ones,” said Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT Executive Director James Bass. “Wearing a seat belt is the most important step we can take to protect ourselves from serious injury or even death in a traffic crash. Instead of putting yourself and others in danger, remember: buckle up day and night, every rider, every ride.”

Car Accidents Deaths Involving Unbuckled Texans Up 16% in 2020

To put it bluntly, the simple act of buckling up could have spared many Texas families the heartbreak of losing a loved one to a fatal crash. According to TXDOT, deaths involving unbuckled motorists rose 16% over the previous year, from 926 in 2019 to 1,073 in 2020.

Close to half of all pickup truck drivers killed in Texas crashes were not wearing a seat belt. And while it’s far more dangerous to drive after dark, nearly 60% of the crashes in which unbuckled drivers and passengers died occurred at night.

It takes just a few seconds to put on a seatbelt. But doing so reduces the risk of dying by up to 45% for people in the front seat of passenger cars and up to 60% for people in pickup trucks.

Texas Stepping Up Seatbelt Enforcement

According to TxDOT, state law requires everyone in a vehicle to be properly secured in the front or back seat or face fines and fees up to $200. Children younger than 8 years old must be restrained in a child safety seat or booster seat unless they are taller than 4 feet 9 inches. If a child isn’t secured, the driver faces fines of up to $250.

As the summer driving season starts and families head out to celebrate Memorial Day, Texas officers and deputies will step up enforcement of the state’s seat belt and child car seat laws.

TxDOT will launch its latest Click It or Ticket campaign on May 24th. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that previous initiatives in Texas from 2002 through 2019 saved more than 6,000 lives, prevented more than 100,000 serious injuries. and resulted in $23.6 billion in economic savings from 2002 through 2019.

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