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Vehicle safety devices do save lives

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently published results of how safety devices in today’s motor vehicles save lives.

  • Airbags: According to the NHTSA, as of 2013 there were 202 million airbag-equipped passenger vehicles on the nation’s roads. Statistics show that in 2016, frontal airbags saved the lives of vehicle occupants age 13 and older. Used in tandem with seat belts, airbags reduce fatalities by 11 percent.

  • Seat belts: In 2016, seat belts saved the lives of 14,668 people ages five and older. Tragically, in 2015, 80 percent of people not wearing seat belts and who were ejected from the vehicle died.Seat belt use reduces the risk of a fatal injury to front seat occupants 45 percent and the risk of moderate-to-critical injuries by 50 percent.

  • Child safety seats: In 2016, for children under the age of five, 328 children were saved by child safety seats.

  • Motorcycle helmets: The NHTSA estimates that 1,859 motorcyclists’ lives were saved because they wore helmets. Another 802 lives could have been saved, if the cyclists had worn helmets. The efficacy of helmet use is huge. They are 37 percent effective in preventing fatalities to riders and 41 percent for passengers.

  • Electronic stability control (ESC): These devices control brakes and engine power and help tremendously in reducing rollover and other types of car crashes. It is mandated by the NHTSA that all motor vehicles manufactured after 2012 have ESC. This includes cars, light trucks, SUVs and vans. NHTSA estimates that approximately 1,949 motor vehicle occupants were saved in 2015 because of ESC. Further, they say that between the years of 2011 and 2015, ESC saved more than 7,000 lives.

Fewer motor vehicle fatalities

Wisconsin motor vehicle fatalities for 2016 and 2017 were 607 and 613, respectively. Nationally, for the year 2017, NHTSA reports 37,133 fatalities due to motor vehicle crashes. Terrible as that number sounds, it is down 1.8 percent from 2016 and the first actual decline since 2014. This decline represents accidents involving pedestrians, motorcyclists, as well as alcohol and speed-related fatalities. The only segments showing an increase in the death rate were occupants involved in SUV and big truck accidents.

We at DiRenzo & Bomier, while fighting for your rights as victims of personal injury accidents, want to see these fatality numbers decline even more significantly. Please do your part to keep yourself and others safe in a moving vehicle. Wear your seat belt, restrain your children correctly in their car seats, and please consider wearing a motorcycle helmet, even those of you who are not required to do so.


If you have any questions about this topic or any other questions related to personal injury law, please call us at 920-725-8464, or toll free at 1-800-529-1552. Our personal injury consultations are always free.


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