Seat Belt-Related Deaths Lowest in 20 Years

seat belts in carSeat belt-related fatalities have reached a 20-year low according to the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP). There has been a steady decline in seat belt-related deaths in recent years.

OPP reports that 45 people were killed in seat belt-related auto accidents in 2016, which is one less than the number recorded in 2015.

Last year was the second year the number reached below 50 deaths in the last 20 years. The data for the most recent years highlights the decline:

  • 2016 – 45
  • 2015 – 46
  • 2014 – 51
  • 2013 – 67
  • 2012 – 78

OPP attributes the decline in part to its Provincial Traffic Safety Program, which is a high visibility approach to traffic safety enforcement and education focused on a lack of seat belt use and other high-risk behaviours. These dangerous habits account for most of the traffic deaths investigated by OPP.

OPP officials note that the evidence of “the effectiveness of seat belts is irrefutable.” Although it only takes a moment to buckle up, it can save your life.

Easter Weekend Seat Belt Enforcement Campaign

The announcement comes as OPP gears up for its Seat Belt Campaign over the Easter Long Weekend.

From April 14 to 17, OPP will be out in force cracking down on drivers and passengers who are not wearing their seat belts.

Ontario Seat Belt Laws

In Ontario, all vehicle drivers and passengers are required to wear a seat belt that is properly adjusted and securely fastened.

Drivers can be fined between $200 and $1,000 and receive two demerit points if he or she or a passenger under the age of 16 is not wearing a seat belt or secured in a child seat.

You can also face a fine for having a broken seat belt in your vehicle, even if it is not being used at the time.

Passengers over the age of 16 can also face a fine if they are not using or correctly wearing a seat belt.

Proper seat belt use includes one seat belt per person in a vehicle that is worn across the chest and over the lower hips.

Ensure Your Child is Properly Restrained

Although there is no requirement to do so, OPP recommends that children under the age of 13 sit in the back seat of vehicles. This helps better protect them in the event of a car accident.

If a child is under the age of eight, weighs between 18 and 36 kg (40-80 lb.) and is less than 145 cm (4 feet-9 inches) tall, he or she should be seated in a booster seat.

Children weighing between 9 kg and 18 kg (20 to 40 lb.) should be in a forward-facing child car seat, and infants should remain in a backward-facing car seat until they weigh at least 9 kg (20 lb.).

The right child car seat can have a significant impact on a child’s survival rate in an accident. For this reason, drivers are responsible for ensuring children are secured in the appropriate car seat.  

Windsor Auto Accident Lawyers

Driver negligence can occur in many ways and often results in serious injuries or death from car accidents. Our auto accident lawyers can help you fight for the compensation you deserve if your injuries were caused by another negligent driver.

Contact us today for a free consultation and review of the details of your claim. If you have a case, we will handle the details and will charge you nothing unless we recover compensation for you.

Call or complete a Free Case Evaluation form today.