Posted on Monday, August 2nd, 2021 at 9:00 am
It may seem hard to believe, but as recently as the 1980s only about 10% of Americans wore seat belts regularly when riding in a car. Fortunately, today this important safety feature has been widely adopted and even legally mandated. Seat belts are responsible for saving over one million lives! Make fastening your seat belt a habit. Put it on as soon as you get in the car before you even start the engine and insist that other family members do the same. This single act could save your life! Below are some interesting facts about seat belt history and use.
- Not wearing a seat belt is illegal in all but one state—New Hampshire.
- According to the National Highway Safety Transportation Association (NHSTA) in 2017 51% of male passenger vehicle occupants killed in car crashes were not buckled as compared to 39% for females.
- According to the American Automobile Association (AAA) the first patent for a seat belt for a vehicle was granted to Edward J. Claghorn in New York City as a device to keep tourists safe when they rode in taxis.
- One impediment to seat belts being standard in cars is that manufacturers believed if they included too many safety features consumers would think cars were unsafe. Another myth that inhibited the acceptance of seat belts was the idea that it was safer to be flung from a car because it might catch on fire in an accident.
- Wisconsin was the first state to require that seat belts be installed in the front seats of all cars in 1961. It did not require that passengers use them, however.
- Barney Oldfield, a racing legend and the first person to drive over 60 mph, designed the first safety harness for his Indy 500 car. He enlisted a parachute manufacturer to help produce it in response to seeing several drivers get hurt or die in racing accidents.
Have you or a loved one been a victim of a DUI, car, truck, or motorcycle accident, dog attack, or a slip and fall incident? If so, Tiemann Law Firm can help. Our experienced personal injury attorneys will fight for the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free, same-day consultation by calling (916) 999-9000.