According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, motor vehicle crashes are one of the leading causes of death in the United States. Each year millions of people are treated in emergency rooms for injuries sustained in motor vehicle accidents, and injuries and deaths from car and truck accidents have a tremendous economic impact of roughly 70 billion dollars in a single year.
Thanks to public safety campaigns and better education efforts, most drivers know they should wear their seatbelt, obey the speed limit, never text and drive, etc But many drivers are unaware about the hazards of unrestrained passengers and loose objects in their vehicles and yet both of these can cause serious injury or death in an accident.
Strategic Safety estimates a driver’s risk of dying in a car accident increases by 25% if there are unrestrained passengers in the vehicle. Likewise, a dog or a fully-loaded cooler, etc. can become a deadly projectile especially in a high-speed collision. One of our lawyers, Joy Day, who is a former defense lawyer for automobile manufacturers, has handled a case in which a driver was killed because of blunt force trauma created by an unrestrained passenger in the back seat. John was involved in a car where a unrestrained cooler crashed into the vehicle passenger and there was a claim of injuries as a result of that "second impact."
Bottom line: as the driver, you should insist that every passenger wear their seatbelt not only for their own safety but yours as well. And, be sure to secure dogs and other loose items so they do not become a deadly object in the event of a crash. Our 85 pound Labrador Retriever wears his seatbelt harness when he is in the car — for $20.00 it was easy and inexpensive protection for both him and us.
The Law Offices of John Day offers free consultations for injury victims and their families. If you would like to sit down with one of our award-winning lawyers to review your case, call our office at 615-742-4880 or toll-free at 866-812-8787 or fill out this form and we will call you. We accept all of our injury and wrongful death cases on a contingency basis so we only get paid if we win.