Automaker Tackles Injury Risks from Failure to Use seatbelts

Seatbelts are easily one of the front line defenses and driver or passenger in a vehicle can use to protect themselves in a car accident.  Automakers are taking the initiative to encourage more motorists to wear seatbelts while driving in order to reduce the risk of injuries in accidents.

General Motors is one automaker that is introducing new features that encourage motorists to buckle up. The system is based on an older concept at the automaker, and features a technology that does not allow motorists to drive immediately after switching on the ignition. While the car will start, gears will not activate for twenty seconds after. This gives the motorist and passengers time to buckle up.

The company’s Chevrolet division had introduced a system like this in 2015. Those systems are estimated to have resulted in a 16 percent increase in seatbelt use in motorists driving these vehicles.  The 2020 models come with systems that encourage motorists to buckle up before driving. These are available on the Chevrolet Caribou, Colorado and Traverse models. In 2022, the systems will be available on the Chevrolet and GMC pickup trucks as well.

For now, the system is activated only when the car is in teen driver mode. Parents can activate the mode on their vehicles to encourage their teenage children to wear seatbelts. However, the plan is to enhance the technology so that it is activated at all times.

How successful these systems will be once they are available on a larger number of cars remains to be seen. The earlier technology had several deficiencies and defects that made it less popular among drivers.  This time around, however, the company has tweaked its model to not automatically block the car from moving, but by giving the driver time to buckle up, and put him in a frame of mind in which to think about that simple step that could help prevent injuries in a crash.

However, auto safety experts are already very encouraged by this initiative that encourages more motorists to wear seat belts while driving. Recent accident and fatality estimates by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration give a better picture of the number of people killed because they were not wearing seatbelts at the time of the crash. While the focus is on reducing accidents involving speeding or drunk driving, it is never a bad idea to encourage motorists to do the one thing that could mean being safely restrained in a car or ejected from the vehicle during an accident. Estimates from last year show that there has been an increase in crash deaths involving ejections during rollovers. Those deaths could possibly have been prevented if the occupants had been wearing seatbelts at the time.

 If you or a loved one have suffered injuries in a car accident in the metro Atlanta region or anywhere in Georgia, it is very important that you speak with an experience accident attorney to protect your rights and maximize your recovery.   You may qualify for compensation for your medical costs, lost income, diminished income earning ability and other types of damages through a car accident claim. 

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