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Drunk Driving and Seat Belt Use: What the Statistics Say

Posted on in Drunk Driving Accidents

Chicago drunk driving accident attorney, drunk driving, drunk driving accidents, seat belt, seat belt usageDrunk driving is dangerous no matter how you cut it, but oftentimes getting behind the wheel when drinking can cause a driver to take risks that would normally not be taken when sober. Not only does alcohol tend to cause a person to more easily lose control in situations he otherwise would not, a person is less likely to take safety precautions—such as wearing a seat belt—if he has been drinking.

According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, “drivers involved in fatal crashes who have been drinking use safety belts at a substantially lower rate than sober drivers.” In fact, only 12.3 percent of fatally injured drunk drivers were using a seatbelt at the time of crash and death. Nearly 37 percent of sober drivers killed in a car accident were wearing a safety belt at the time of the accident.

The National Safety Council notes that 49 states (except New Hampshire) have seat belt laws, thus requiring all drivers and passengers to wear a seat belt. Only 31 states, however, have laws that allow police to stop a vehicle for the primary enforcement of seat belt usage. This means that cops can issue citations for the failure of vehicle occupants to wear a seat belt, even if the driver had made no other offense.

Illinois has a "Click It or Ticket" initiative to encourage drivers, by threat of an expensive ticket or fine, to buckle up in the car at all times. BuckleUpIllinois.org states that using a safety belt is an easy, effective, and free way to help prevent serious injury in the event of an accident. With that said, make smart choices when in a vehicle. Whether you are the driver or the passenger, buckling up can save your life.

If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident in Illinois in which drunk driving was a factor, the most important step is to seek legal counsel. Contact Salvi & Maher, L.L.C. today.

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