Pennsylvania program targets drivers that do not wear seatbelts

 In Motor Vehicle Accident
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that every year an estimated 1.7 million deaths are reported in the U.S. due to traumatic brain injuries. Motor vehicle accidents are one of the leading causes of TBIs throughout the United States. The simple act of putting on a seatbelt while in a vehicle can prevent TBIs and save lives.

State seatbelt laws

From the beginning of June until Memorial Day weekend of this year, Pennsylvania law enforcement officials participated in a program dedicated to increasing the amount of seatbelt usage among drivers in the state. Over $700,000 was invested into this program in order for its influence to reach over 600 police departments throughout the state, says National Public Radio. The three main goals of this program were to educate residents about seatbelt usage, increase enforcement of seatbelt laws and ultimately get more passengers and drivers to wear their seatbelts.

According to the Pennsylvania Vehicle Code, Pennsylvania is a secondary enforcement state and has several laws regarding seatbelt usage. This means that:

  • Drivers can’t be pulled for the sole reason of not wearing a seatbelt, but they will be ticketed if it is found that a seatbelt is not being worn.
  • Passengers under the age of 18 are required to wear seatbelts.
  • Drivers under the age of 18 cannot have more passengers in the car than there are seatbelts.

In Pennsylvania, wearing a seatbelt is required and can also prevent drivers from sustaining a TBI if they are involved in a collision.

Preventing traumatic brain injuries

Although traumatic brain injuries cannot completely be avoided when a driver is involved in a motor vehicle accident, wearing a seatbelt can reduce its effects or severity. The CDC recommends that drivers should wear a seatbelt every time they enter a vehicle, despite how long they plan they plan to be in the car or how far they are going. Individuals with young children should buckle their child up using a car seat, booster seat or seatbelt. Parents should determine their child’s needs for a safety seat depending on the height, weight and age of their child.

Although seatbelts can play a role in preventing traumatic brain injuries, many Pennsylvania residents still live with the effects of a TBI after a motor vehicle accident. If you or a family were in an accident that resulted in a TBI and it had a long or short-term effect on your ability to live a normal life, consult with a personal injury to determine what steps you should take next.

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