More lives could potentially be saved in auto accidents involving minivans every year if these vehicles came with stronger and more efficient seat belt warning systems.
A new study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety highlights the fact that far too many minivan models simply do not have effective and efficient seatbelt reminder systems in place. This is even more alarming when you consider that these vehicles are mainly purchased by families with young children.
The minivan is the ubiquitous symbol of the young American family. For decades, Americans with young families have been buying minivans for their very specific travel needs. However, failure to use proper restraint systems has disastrous consequences for America’s children. In 2020, more than one-third of children below the age of 12 killed in car accidents were not properly restrained at the time.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recently conducted an analysis of at least 4 minivan models and compared the performances of the seatbelt reminder systems in these vehicles. They found that only one brand of minivan had an effective seat belt reminder system in place. Not only did this model have a solid seat belt reminder system for the front seat passengers, but it also included an efficient reminder system for the second row. The other three models ranked either average or fell short of the requirements in the comparison.
Under federal standards, seat belt reminders must include an audible alert that lasts for at least between 4 to 8 seconds. Any visual alert that is included must last for at least 60 seconds after turning the ignition on. Since those laws were passed, studies have indicated that longer audible alerts would be even more efficient in encouraging drivers and their passengers to buckle up. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, in fact, has conducted studies that show that effective seat belt reminder systems can increase seat belt usage rates by as much as 34%. Increased rates of seat belt usage could also help prevent as many as 1,500 car accident wrongful deaths every year.
Having a long and audible seat belt reminder alert before you begin operating the car can help make sure that you and all the passengers in your car, including your children, are safely buckled in before you begin driving. Checking on whether your children are safely buckled in after you begin driving can be challenging and dangerous.
The Atlanta car crash attorneys at Katz Personal Injury Lawyers are dedicated to the representation of persons injured in car accidents in the metro Atlanta region and across Georgia. If you or a loved one have suffered injuries in a car accident, talk to a lawyer at our firm and determine if you have legal options to a claim for damages. You may be eligible for compensation that includes medical expenses, lost income and other types of damages. Talk to an attorney at our firm and discuss your case.