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Seat belts could be mandatory for passengers soon

On Behalf of | Aug 30, 2023 | Car Accidents

For years, if a motorist sat behind the wheel of a newer-model vehicle, they have been treated to an auditory and/or visual warning if their seat belt was not engaged by the time that they started driving over a very low backup speed. Now, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is proposing that similar warnings be placed into effect for passenger seats in new vehicles.

The agency estimates that formalizing requirements for seat belt warnings in new models could save up to 100 lives and hundreds of additional non-fatal injuries annually. This is primarily due to the reality that when rear passengers use seat belts, their risk of suffering fatal injuries in a crash is reduced by 55 percent in cars and 74 percent in vans and trucks.

A word about comparative negligence in Kansas

Some individuals really dislike wearing seat belts. They don’t like to wear them themselves and they don’t like to insist that their passengers wear them either. Yet, there is a reason to buckle up that extends beyond safety concerns and even beyond obnoxious warnings sounded in the event that travelers want to ride beltless.

In Kansas, even if a crash victim was injured due to another’s negligence, recklessness, or intentional conduct, if they are deemed 51% or more responsible for their own harm, they can’t collect compensation from that responsible party. This is known as a modified comparative approach to negligence.

If it is determined that a crash victim’s injuries could have been prevented had they been wearing a seat belt, their ability to pursue compensation from another party may be limited or rejected outright. As a result, it’s important to buckle up not just due to safety concerns and regulatory concerns but also because a failure to do so could cost a family the ability to seek necessary compensation after a wreck.