To wear a seatbelt…or not? In this video, Personal Injury Attorney Ben Schwartz talks to a concerned viewer about her parents not agreeing with the law to wear their seatbelt while driving.
Hi, I’m Attorney Ben Schwartz,
Today we are going to answer a viewer question from a young lady named Melissa. Melissa wrote in and she said, essentially that her parents never wear their seatbelts when driving. She has tried to talk to them about it. She has told them they have to do it because it is a Delaware State Law and they must do it because it will keep them safe. But her father said that people die every year as a result of having a seatbelt on and that he doesn’t want to take the risk of driving with a seatbelt.
First, he told her that he doesn’t want to have the seatbelt on, and if he crashes and runs into a lake or a pond, and there are a lot of lakes and ponds, if the car were to be submerged underwater he would not want to be trapped in it with a seatbelt on.
The second thing he told Melissa is that if he has the seatbelt on and the car was to become in a collision and then catch on fire, he may not escape from the vehicle and may end up getting burned up.
So, Melissa, you sent me an email and you asked me what I would say to respond to that. My response to that is that I am an attorney. In my legal practice, we handle wrongful death cases. We handle a lot of wrongful death cases every year and most of them involve automobile collisions. I have never had, in almost 20-years of practicing law, I have never had a wrongful death case from an automobile collision where the seatbelt contributed to the death. In other words, I have never seen a case where a car went into a pond and the person was trapped in because they were wearing their seatbelt.
I have seen a case where a person got in a car accident, the car caught on fire, and they could not escape due to the seatbelt. Now, do those cases exist? Maybe but I’m not seeing them. What I’m seeing is collisions where people are not wearing seatbelts; the car rolls over and they get ejected from the vehicle. I’m seeing cases where people are getting into a collision, they are not wearing seatbelts and their body is basically free to be thrown around inside the vehicle and when their head comes into contact with a hard surface inside the vehicle on an impact, they end up being killed.
I’m seeing people who are killed in automobile collisions very regularly in my legal practice. And none of them, at least not yet, none of them have been cases where the seatbelt caused the person to die. I think that it is an urban myth, you know, this idea that you should not wear a seatbelt because it could entrap you. I think that it is an urban myth. I don’t know where that information came from. I would say that if you want to make a smart decision if you want to be responsible if you want to be around to watch your kids grow up, put the seatbelt on and forget about what you may have heard. Forget about the car catching on fire and you being entrapped in the car or the car landing in the water and you being entrapped in the car.
I think that not having a seatbelt on exposes you to a much much much higher risk of injury or death than putting a seatbelt on ever would. I have heard all kinds of excuses about why people do not want to wear their seatbelts. Take it from me, I see the aftermath of these automobile collisions and I can tell you, you will almost 100% certainly fare better if you are in a collision, if you have your seatbelt on.
Thanks for watching! Melissa, I hope that answers your question. I hope that provides you with some information that you can take back to your parents and show them. Maybe this video, if you watch this video, or you share it with friends or family, maybe this will help someone or save someone’s life.
Thanks for watching, I am attorney Ben Schwartz. Melissa thank you for the very insightful question. If you are watching this video and you have a question you would like me to answer, send me an email.