Whether you are involved in a motor vehicle collision in Rancho Bernardo or elsewhere in Southern California, you may already know just how important seat belts are to preventing serious and fatal injuries. Yet many vehicle occupants still do not buckle up, especially when they are sitting in the back seat of a car or SUV. A recent article in Bankrate addresses the history of seat belts and motor vehicle safety and considers who far we have come by 2021. We want to discuss some of those considerations with you here and to urge you to seek advice from a Rancho Bernardo car accident attorney if you need help filing a claim for financial compensation.
Long History of Motor Vehicles and Limited Seat Belt Use
According to the Bankrate article, seat belts have been around for much longer than you might think. To be sure, this safety device actually dates back to the 19th century—long before a majority of Americans owned any kind of vehicle—yet they have not been used as widely as many safety advocates would like. Indeed, by 1980, only about 10% of Americans reported that they wore seat belts when driving a car or occupying a passenger seat in a vehicle. Those numbers improved significantly in the late twentieth century and into the twenty-first century. By 2019, just over 90% of Americans report that they wear a seat belt whether driving or riding in an automobile.