Deaths in San Lorenzo Car Accident Related to Seat Belts

seat belt law.jpgTwo people were found dead at the scene of a devastating San Lorenzo car accident last week. Seven others were injured in the collision. The accident involved a van that was operated by a thirty year old Hayward man who police say was traveling at about 50 m.p.h. when his van struck a parked trailer. The driver of the car and a passenger who was sitting behind the driver was also killed. The passenger was not wearing his seat belt. The crash is still under investigation by the California Highway Patrol so we don’t know at this time what role lack of seat belts played in his death.

We do know from experience however that seat belts are life savers. In California we have a mandatory seat belt law (California Vehicle Code section 27315). Laws such as these have remarkably reduced the number of serious injuries and deaths related to auto accidents. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimated that use of seat belts and restraints saved 12, 713 lives in 2009. Unfortunately, as an Oakland personal injury lawyer, I frequently see the tragic harm that is caused when people fail to buckle up or when seat belts fail.

In order to prevent serious injuries and to keep our friends and families safe, it is of the utmost importance to make sure everyone in our car is bucked up at all time. California law says that if you are not wearing a seat belt and your are injured in an accident you can be held comparatively at fault for your own personal injuries for failure to comply with the mandatory seat belt law.

Resources:

Oakland Tribune, San Lorenzo: Two killed, seven injured after minivan slams into parked flatbed trailer, November 17, 2010
National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, An Analysis of the Significant Decline in Motor Vehicle Traffic Fatalities in 2008, June, 2010

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