Carter Craig, Attorneys at Law

Virginia teens challenge peers to buckle up when in a vehicle

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With all of the advances in safety technology in vehicles, it is an older piece of safety equipment that stands the test of time when it comes to saving lives -- the seat belt. A group of Virginia teens is challenging its peers to always buckle up when either driving or riding in a vehicle. This challenge comes in the wake of the death of a 15-year-old girl who was thrown out of a car during a collision. Law enforcement officials believe she may have survived the crash if she had been wearing her seat belt.

It is the responsibility of everyone in the vehicle, perhaps especially the driver, to ensure that everyone is properly restrained before getting on the road. The law requires it, and it could mean the difference between life and death in an accident. At the presentation by the Youth of Virginia Speak Out About Traffic Safety (YOVASO), students were not only reminded to use seat belts, but were also shown videos highlighting the dangers of speeding, texting while driving, and driving while intoxicated.

Presenters pointed out that in 2012, 83 teenagers died in car accidents on Virginia roads. In Bedford, six people who died in nine fatal crashes were not properly restrained at the time. In Campbell, none of the victims in four fatal crashes used their seat belts.

Wearing a seat belt can, undoubtedly, save a person's life, but there are times when even that is not enough to prevent fatal injuries. Families that have lost loved ones in fatal motor vehicle accidents due to the negligence of another retain the right to file wrongful death claims against the party or parties deemed responsible. Any award of damages from a successfully litigated claim may help with the financial recovery of the family, which can alleviate at least some of the stress brought on by such a tragedy.

Source: newsadvance.com, A Challenge for Region's Teen Drivers, No author, Feb. 26, 2014

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