The federal administration is proposing a new seatbelt warning system that would apply to occupants of the back seat as well as the front seat passenger. It is a move that could significantly help reduce the number of people killed in car accidents on America’s roads every year. It is important to keep in mind that persons in the rear seats are injured in car accidents, especially in rear-end accidents and T-bone accidents.
In 2021, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Acting Administrator, approximately 43,000 people were killed in car accidents and approximately 50% of them were not wearing seatbelts at the time of the auto accident. Their chances of surviving the crash could have significantly improved had they been buckled in. Unfortunately, the current law only requires seat belt reminder systems for drivers, but has no such requirements for front seat passengers as well as occupants of the rear seat of the car. These people are also at a very high risk of suffering fatal injuries in the event of an auto accident.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently issued a Proposed Rule which requires motor vehicles weighing up to 10,000 pounds to have seatbelt reminder systems for all passengers in the car, including front seat and backseat passengers. The requirement would require a visual alert that would go on for approximately 60 seconds and would alert the driver to the status of rear seatbelt usage. It would also require an audible alert that would alert the driver when a backseat passenger removes the seat belt while the vehicle is in operation. The rule would also require an audio visual alert system for the right front seat passenger to buckle his seatbelt. Auto manufacturers would have the flexibility to decide how frequently and how loud the audible reminder system should be.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is estimating that as many as 100 lives could be saved in car accidents every year once the rule goes into effect. It also expects that as many as 300 non -fatal personal injuries would be prevented every year as a result of the rule.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s proposed rule is part of the Department of Transportation’s National Roadways Safety Strategy which aims to reduce the number of people being killed in car and auto accidents on our roadways through a number of measures, including the promotion of safer cars and safer motorists. An audio visual reminder system would encourage motorists to require all passengers in the car to wear seatbelts before driving, thereby reducing their chances of personal injury in the event of an auto accident.
The Atlanta car accident lawyers at Katz Personal Injury Lawyers are dedicated to the representation of persons who have suffered injuries in auto accidents in the metro Atlanta region and across the state of Georgia. If you or a loved one have suffered injuries in a car accident, talk to a lawyer at our firm and discuss your legal options for a claim for damages. You may qualify for damages that include medical costs, lost income and other forms of compensation.