Only 7% of Canadian citizens still refuse to wear a seat belt. Sadly, 40% of fatalities occur in this same 7%, according to Transport Canada. Not only can refusal to wear your safety belt lead to death or serious injury, fines, demerit points or reduced insurance settlements are all consequences of such stubbornness. It is the law for all occupants of a motor vehicle to use seat belts and child restraints properly, across every province and territory.
Almost 1/3 of the passengers killed in Ontario car accidents were not wearing seat belts…
The seat belt is intended to secure you and your passengers in the event of abrupt stop or collision; they are essential to the occupant restraint system and play a very important role on the modern road.
Have you been injured or lost a loved one in a collision?
Find out how we can help – call us today toll free at (866) 320-4770.
Why Wearing A Seat Belt Is Important For Safety
The first vehicle occupant restraint to be patented was invented in the 19th century and used hooks and attachments.
The modern retractable seat belt followed in the 1950’s, patented by a medical doctor, in response to injuries earlier seat belt types were inflicting. In 1959, the adoption of safety belts by the auto industry was legislated by Congress.
Seat belts are specifically designed to reduce injuries and fatalities across the world. Here in Ontario, an annual Seat belt Campaign reminds our citizens about the importance of these safety restraints.
Some important facts to remember about seat belt use:
- Safety belts can prevent many kinds of auto accident injuries, from broken bones and dislocations to facial disfigurement, skull fracture or TBI
- Un-belted occupants can impact or be ejected from the vehicles interior
- Un-belted occupants can impact, crush or even kill another person in the vehicle
- Child safety seats can reduce chances of injury or death by 75% when used correctly
Almost 1/3 of the passengers killed in Ontario car accidents were not wearing seat belts. Discomfort, the biggest complaint against safety belts, is no excuse for the damage you could cause to yourself or someone in your vehicle if you are in an accident while un-belted or even improperly belted.
If a vehicle occupant restraint gives you discomfort, consider one of the other types of seat belts available. If you have been injured because of a seat belt, an lawyer may be able to help you.
7 Seat belt Variations
Different types of seat belts can be found in cars due to the range in ages and purposes of vehicles.
Common seat belts include:
Single or dual strap fastening across the waist at two points; most commonly used on aircraft or in older vehicles
Single strap pulled across the chest, using a buckle that fastens at the hip closest to the vehicles center; once sold separately from lap belts until becoming standard in the late 1960’s
Single strap pulled across the chest and waist, using a buckle that fastens at the hip closest to the vehicles center; standard on modern passenger vehicles
3-point seat belt built into the seat vs. attached to the vehicles frame
Multi-strap using a strap on each shoulder in addition to a lap belt that buckle together in the center; usually found on child safety seats
Motorized (or non-motorized) shoulder straps that automatically secure a person as the motor is started (or door is closed), accompanied by a manual lap belt; an automatic 3-point belt that mounted to the door was used in some vehicles
- 6-Point Harness
5-point seat belt with an additional strap between the legs; most common in auto racing
Most modern seat belt systems include mechanisms that minimize the slack in a safety belts straps and secure a person to the seat in the event of a sudden halt. Different mechanisms exist depending on the make and model of a vehicle; however most utilize a locking re-tractor, pretensioner or web clamp device.
Seat belts are designed for our safety. It is important to know how to secure all of the passengers in your vehicle properly.
What Are The Seat Belt Safety Laws In Ontario, Canada?
Even if you are one of the 93% who opt for safety on the road, everyone in your vehicle may not be secured well. Ontarios one-person one-seat belt law requires anyone driving to buckle up properly and to ensure children under 16 are correctly secured in an appropriate child seat or seat belt.
Unfortunately, less than 35% of children 4 8 are in the correct booster or child seat; children using a seat belt before it is appropriate are 3 ½x more likely to be seriously injured and 4x more likely to sustain a head injury. Use these tips to make sure everyone in your car is secured:
- Ensure the latch clicks into place
- Lap portions of belt should fit snugly across hips, not abdomen
- Shoulder portion should be retracted to fit snugly across the chest
- Never wear shoulder portion underneath arms; this increases likelihood of potentially fatal internal injuries
- Pregnant women should sit as upright as possible, making sure lap portion is as low on hips as possible and shoulder portion stretches across chest above the belly, to the side
- When wearing excess clothing or carrying excess weight, always place lap portion at lowest part of belly across hips
- Adjust shoulder portion of belt for proper fit if possible
These tips should ensure you and your passengers are safely protected.
Contact our Ontario Law Firm for Free Today
Unfortunately, seat belts have been known to cause damage even when properly worn. Those suffering seat belt injuries may have escaped possible death, but such trauma can still be devastating.
If you or a loved one has sustained seat belt injuries or lost their life in a car accident due to another’s negligence, you may be eligible for compensation.
Greg Monforton and Partners are here to provide comprehensive, compassionate legal advice.
We proudly serve clients through our office in Windsor, and offer guidance to victims in communities such as:
- and cities throughout Ontario
Contact us today to find out about your legal rights. We will discuss whether you have a case, and the most appropriate course of legal action.
To get started now, fill out the Free Case Evaluation form on this page or call (866) 320-4770