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New Alabama law could require backseat passenger seatbelt use

Motor vehicle accident statistics have long proved that the use of safety belts in vehicles prevents injuries and deaths. Indeed, the vast majority of people killed in motor vehicle accidents in Alabama were not wearing a seatbelt at the time their collisions occurred. In response to these statistics, the state of Alabama has created seatbelt laws requiring drivers and passengers in the front of vehicles to use safety harnesses.

The problem is, no laws exist that require backseat passengers to use seatbelts. There is no sound logic behind this — especially because 60 percent of people killed in car crashes were not using safety harnesses. Statistics also show that rear-seated passengers are more likely to die in motor vehicle crashes when they are not wearing a seatbelt.

A new bill passed by the Alabama Senate could change safety belt laws for backseat passengers. According to the state senator who penned the legislation, if the bill is enacted, it will save lives.

In recent years, auto accident death statistics have risen across the nation. Analysts say that part of the problem relates to the increased use of smartphones by drivers. Regardless of the reasons why, something must be done to bring death statistics down to lower levels. It is hoped that stricter seatbelt laws could help in this regard.

Alabama drivers and passengers hurt in car accidents caused by the negligence of other drivers may be able to seek compensation in court by filing a personal injury lawsuit. A successfully navigated case of this type could bring plaintiffs money to pay for medical care, compensation for time spent unable to work, and other forms of compensation.

Source: AL.com, "Alabama bill would require back seat passengers to buckle up," Mike Cason, Feb. 24, 2017

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