On Saturday, a Dodge Caravan rolled after a rear tire blew and the driver overcorrected causing the vehicle to roll. Six people in the van were injured, including an 11-year-old girl and a 4-year-old girl. What struck me when I was reading the article was the sentence, “It wasn’t known if Valencia [the driver] was wearing a seat belt, but none of the other passengers was wearing seat belts or child restraints.”
The article appeared in the Yakima Herald, “Six hospitalized after minivan rolls on I-82”. The single car accident occurred on Interstate 82 just about 11am. The sentence about the seat belts was in the last line of the article.
While I don’t know how severely the injured were in the accident, likely there were some pretty serious injuries because of the rollover and the occupants being thrown around the vehicle. Most likely there were fractures, contusions, lacerations and hopefully nothing more serious. Had everyone in the van been properly buckled up, it is likely they would have escaped the accident with minor injuries.
Washington Seat Belt Compliance
Washington state vehicle code RCW 46.61.687 requires drivers to keep children under the age of 16 to be properly restrained in a child restraint system. I
Washington state has one of the highest compliance with the state seat belt laws. According to the Washington Traffic Safety Commission, the compliance rate is %97.6!
It makes one wonder why no one in this vehicle was wearing a seat belt. Hadn’t they gotten the message about the value of wearing a seat belt?
The people in this van are not alone in their failure to buckle up. The Washington State Patrol tickets about 47,000 people a year for failing to use a seat belt.
Approximately 13,000 lives are saved every year in the United States because of seat belts and approximately 7,000 fatalities could have been prevented.
While we wish the victims in this accident a speedy recovery, especially the two children, we hope that others will take heed and buckle up!
This information is provided by Washington Injury Attorney blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have been seriously injured in motor vehicle accidents due to the negligence of another. With our help, you may recover compensation for your damages.