Loose Articles & Unrestrained Passengers are Dangerous Projectiles in Crashes


If all children and adults in front seats are buckled up in your car, you may assume that you have taken all precautionary measures necessary to keep yourselves safe in the event of a crash, but this assumption is incorrect: loose articles, like cell phones, and unrestrained passengers, even in the back seat, can become dangerous projectiles in the event of a crash. 

California Police Officer Brent Miller wants other motorists to learn from his example: 4 years ago, he and his family were hit head-on by another motorist.  Even though everyone in Officer Miller’s car was properly restrained, his son’s skull was fractured from being hit in the head by a loose cell phone in the car as a result of the crash.  After a long stint in intensive care, the baby recovered, but things could have turned out much differently.[1] 

Numerous studies over the year have shown that the presence of an unrestrained rear-seat passenger increases the danger to others in the car.  Like other loose articles, unbelted passengers become airborne in the event of a crash and can not only injure themselves, but can injure others when their bodies collide inside the vehicle.[2]

The Colorado Department of Transportation has been posting roadside bulletins reminding motorists that unrestrained passengers can become “human wrecking balls” in recent weeks, but Colorado remains among a handful of states which do not require all passengers in a car to wear a seatbelt in every circumstance.  The “backseat exemption” which still existed in 10 states as recently as 2010, exempts backseat passengers of a certain age from the legal requirement to wear a seatbelt.[3] 

We hope this post reminds you to secure loose articles and to require every passenger in your car to buckle up when driving, though these precautions might be more than the law requires.  Unfortunately, sometimes precautionary measures are not enough to prevent you or a loved one from being injured as a result of another driver’s negligence.  If this happens to you, take immediate action to schedule your free consultation with the Colorado Springs Injury Attorneys at Rosenbaum & Wootton, P.C.  Call us today at 719.634.0102 or click on this link to schedule your FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION. 

[1] http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/story?id=128062&page=1

[3] http://www.ncsl.org/research/health/state-seat-belt-laws.aspx

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