The University of North Carolina, School of Medicine at Chapel Hill recently conducted a study on the cost of injuries related to seat belt usage in car accident. The study included such factors as the cost of medical care for patients involved in an auto accident, who wore seat belts versus those who do not wear seat belts, injury severity, alcohol usage, and mortality rate.
The findings of this study are surprising and of cause for great concern. The main purpose of the study was to compare the financial cost of injuries incurred in an auto accident of those who wear seat belts versus those patients who were not wearing seat belts. The findings overwhelmingly show that proper seat belt usage greatly reduces the risk of serious injury and death.
Our car accident lawyers know the benefits of wearing a seat belt. Statistics show that seat belts can prevent personal injury like whiplash or spinal cord injuries. They can also prevent wrongful death in a fatal car accident.
Patients who came into the Emergency Room after being involved in an auto accident and not wearing a seat belt tended to have more severe injuries including a higher rate of severe head trauma, which is the leading cause of death in hospital trauma units.
Patients stayed in the hospital an average of 5 days longer than belted patients and 2 days longer in the Intensive Care Unit. Mortality rates were also twice as high for unbelted patients as they were among the belted patients.
Research was also conducted regarding the medical financial costs of those involved in auto accidents who were not wearing seat belts versus those who were wearing seat belts. Findings revealed that the average hospital bill for patients who had not been wearing a seat belt when involved in a car accident versus those wearing seat belts were $5,000 higher on average. The total cost of medical care for unbelted patients included in the study was $23 million as opposed to $12.7 million for belted patients.
As auto accident attorneys who see the effects of lack of seat belt usage, we strongly encourage everyone to “buckle up at all times.”
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