Roadway safety in Northern Virginia is the responsibility of everyone who uses the roads. However, not all drivers make the same commitment to safety, and as a result minor, serious and even fatal car accidents are a common occurrence on local roads. While no one can guarantee they will never be hit by a negligent driver, use of basic restraints may lessen the chances that certain injuries will turn fatal.

Sometimes, the simplest of precautions can turn out to be the most effective. While most Manassas drivers and passengers likely put on their seat belt automatically, not every vehicle occupant will do so. Proper seat belt use is not only obeying the law in Virginia, but also a potential safeguard against the fatal injuries one could suffer when their car is hit by a negligent driver. In 2012, over 50 percent of car occupants killed in fatal motor vehicle accidents were not wearing their seat belt at the time. Air bags may also help prevent fatal injury, but only when used in conjunction with seat belts.

It’s important to remember that adults and adult-sized individuals require different protections than smaller children when riding in a car. Appropriate use of car seats lowers the risk of injury by up to 82 percent while decreasing the risk of death by nearly 30 percent. However, the benefits of protection don’t stop when a child outgrows a car seat. Correct use of a booster seat can actually lower the risk of certain injuries by 45 percent for children ages four to eight. Unfortunately, restraints for children are frequently used incorrectly, and thus crucial protection might be lost on a long trip or an everyday commute. Since negligent drivers abound no matter where one is driving, it’s helpful to learn how to use the right restraint for a child at any age or stage.

Even though seat belts, car seats and booster seats can help prevent some injuries, no vehicle occupant is immune to an irresponsible driver. Families of those killed in car accidents can speak with a Virginia wrongful death attorney about how their loved one was taken from them and what their options are for recovery of damages.

Source: National Safety Council, “Everyone has a role in making our roads safer,” Accessed April 24, 2015