A teenager in Bedford County, Virginia is fighting for his life after a May 6 car accident. A family member of the 18 year old reported on social media that he is in a coma after he and six others under the age of 21 were ejected from a Jeep that rolled in an accident. None of the passengers had on their seatbelts.
The Virginia State Police told the media of the importance of every driver and passenger fastening their seatbelt any time they are in a moving vehicle. In addition to buckling up, the police reminded the public that there is a law in Virginia requiring teen drivers under 18 to have only one passenger under the age of 21. The only exception is if a licensed parent is in the vehicle; there was not in this case.
Charges are pending in this Virginia crash.
It is well known by now that seatbelt use saves lives. The CDC reports that having your seatbelt on can reduce risk of death in a car accident by 45%. Your risk of injury is reduced by 50%. Unfortunately, more than 50% of drivers who die in car accidents each year do not wear their seatbelts.
In Virginia, our personal injury attorneys want to remind everyone in the state that using seatbelts is required. Drivers and passengers who are 16 and older must have a seatbelt when in the front seat. Children under 16 must have a seat belt or be in a child safety seat wherever they are in the vehicle.
It is such a tragedy that the injuries in this case could have been less severe if each occupant in the vehicle had taken three seconds and fastened their seatbelt.
The other thing worth mentioning in this accident is that the driver clearly was either not paying attention to his driving or was driving in an unsafe manner. All drivers, especially young ones, should pay close attention to their driving at all times. When a driver is negligent, a very serious accident can result and is then compounded by occupants not wearing seatbelts.
If any of the injured pass away, the families could file a wrongful death lawsuit against the driver and this could be in the millions of dollars at settlement or verdict. In addition to criminal penalties, driving negligently without seatbelts is a very tragic and costly mistake that we hope everyone reading will avoid.