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Losing a loved one in a car accident is terrible; a life-altering event. But the tragedy is expounded when it occurs during the holidays. For most of us, the holidays are a time when the importance of family is reflected upon and celebrated. Sadly, 10 people were killed in car crashes in Virginia during the Christmas weekend. Four of these crashes took place in the Hampton Roads region.

To make matters even worse, four of the deceased individuals were under the age of 21. As a proud father, I can’t imagine the pain and suffering the parents of these young drivers are dealing with right now.

The number deaths due to traffic accidents increased this year in Virginia. There were six fatal car wrecks in 2008 as opposed to the aforementioned 10 in 2009. We know eight of these individuals were not wearing their seat belt at the time of the wreck.

When 80 percent of the people killed in these tragic holiday car accidents weren’t wearing their safety belts, it’s a reminder of how important it is to wear your seatbelt while in an automobile. Studies reveal 63 percent of all fatal car wrecks involved someone not wearing their seatbelt.

Here’s a video illustrating the importance of wearing your seatbelt…

As you can see, there’s no excuse to get into a car and not wear your seatbelt.

In Virginia (VA) law, the fact that an injured person was not wearing their seat belt is inadmissible against them in a lawsuit for an auto accident. That is cold comfort to your family, if you died in a wreck though. As a young driver or passenger, think of your mother, father, sister or brother and buckle up. You might just save your life.

About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper, Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm (VA-NC law offices ) edits the injury law blogs Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard, and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard as a pro bono service to consumers.

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