Seatbelts have been around for a long time and all cars are equipped with them. Nevertheless, a lot of Louisiana residents don’t use them when they’re in a vehicle, and they’ll offer up a host of excuses why they don’t. The worst of those excuses is the idea that seatbelts don’t work to prevent injuries and deaths. Statistics show that this idea is completely and utterly false.
Seatbelts have been scientifically proven to dramatically reduce the risk of death and serious injury by approximately 50 percent. Outside of obeying traffic laws and being an attentive and defensive driver, they are the single most effective safety feature to use while driving.
The second most important safety device is the airbag, but it is not a substitution for a seatbelt and must be used in conjunction with a seatbelt for maximum effectiveness. Combined, these two devices reduce instances of injury and death by 70 percent.
Because of their proven effectiveness, it certainly makes sense to have laws on the books that promote the use of safety belts. In fact, it is shown that states who have primary enforcement seatbelt laws – meaning drivers can be pulled over and cited for not wearing a safety harness – have higher seatbelt usage statistics.
Louisiana is a primary seatbelt law state. No matter what seat a vehicle occupant is sitting in, he or she must use a safety harness. That said, passengers and drivers injured in car crashes caused by negligence, may still have viable claims for damages in civil court, even if the injured person violated the law by not wearing a safety belt at the time of the crash.