Teaching drivers and passengers why they should wear seat belts has proven difficult in Louisiana. However, every incident where a person’s life may have been saved if he or she had worn a seat belt shows the importance of continuing to educate drivers and passengers of the dangers of not wearing their seat belts.
A recent single car crash in St. Landry Parish in which a 16-year-old driver lost her life serves as a tragic example of how crucial it is to continue working to convince people in Louisiana to wear their seat belts. Per KADN-TV, the 16-year-old driver was traveling along Louisiana Highway 363 in a 2006 Kia Spectra prior to the deadly accident. Reportedly, as the Kia was heading south on LA Hwy 363, it hit a cow that was in the road, which forced the Kia off the road where it struck a culvert after driving into a ditch. According to the KADN-TV report, the 16-year-old driver suffered fatal injuries in the crash. She was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the incident.
Tips to Get Drivers and Passengers to Wear Seat Belts
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) website includes several strategies for convincing drivers and passengers to wear seat belts as well as to make sure parents know to use child car safety seats.
One method of improving seat belt usage is to implement primary seat belt laws. Secondary seat belt laws only allow police to ticket drivers and passengers for failing to wear seat belts if they have pulled them over for another reason, such as speeding. However, primary seat belt laws enable law enforcement to ticket vehicle occupants for not wearing their seat belts as a primary offense. The CDC also recommends increasing penalties drivers and passengers face for not wearing their seat belts and holding enforcement periods where police set up checkpoints to catch vehicle occupants failing to wear their seat belts.
The CDC recommends similar strategies to convince parents to use child car safety seats, including implementing child restraint laws and holding regular enforcement periods.
Galloway Jefcoat, LLP is a Lafayette auto accident law firm has been protecting the rights of the victims of car accidents and their families for years, including recovering several favorable verdicts and settlements for clients.