In a recent post about fatal motor vehicle accidents, we shared that there is good and bad news regarding accident trends in New Jersey. The prior blog post focused mainly on the fact that there was an increase in the number of people who died in bicycle accidents last year.
There is another specific area of safety concern on which we'd like to elaborate more. Accident reports also indicate that there was an increase in the number of people who died while riding as vehicle passengers in 2015. Researchers suggest that the unfortunate fatality trend is due to a lack of safety belt use among passengers.
Studies show that front-seat passengers are more likely to buckle up, while backseat riders seem to feel that it is less important to use their seat belts. Fewer than 40 percent of backseat passengers report buckling up, and younger adults are the most likely to neglect their seat belt use.
Reports warn that 95 passengers were killed in New Jersey crashes last year who were not wearing seat belts. No one can say that not buckling up directly led to a victim's death, but a seat belt is an easy defense against what can and does happen on New Jersey roads all too often.
Tragically, lives are lost every year not because of the wrongdoing of crash victims, but because of the negligent driving of other drivers. Failing to see and yield to bicyclists, for example, is a fatal driving behavior. And just because a passenger might not wear a seat belt, it doesn't make an accident due to someone else's speeding, for example, the victim's fault.
Someone who has lost a loved one to a fatal traffic accident can discuss their specific case with a wrongful death attorney who knows what questions to ask and what to look for in a sensitive situation like theirs.