Marlton, NJ (PRWEB) November 26, 2012
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently announced* that national seatbelt usage is up by 2 percent for 2012. Console & Hollawell’s car accident attorneys in Philadelphia believe that residents of the Philadelphia area need to be aware that this is not the case locally. In fact, in 2011 Philadelphia saw a decline in seatbelt usage, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT).** There is a serious epidemic of drivers in and around Philadelphia not buckling up, and this may be contributing to the high number of accident fatalities and injuries in local crashes.
Richard P. Console, Jr., managing partner at the firm, is troubled by the apparent correlation between the seatbelt usage in the city and the number of people killed or injured in accidents.
“While there are other counties in Pennsylvania that have more traffic accidents, Philly routinely has higher numbers with regards to deaths and injuries,” Console said. “In 2011, Allegheny County, where PA’s second-largest city Pittsburg is located, had almost 2,000 more accidents than Philadelphia County total, but Philly had nearly 3,000 more that resulted in injury or death. This further asserts that Philly’s problem stems from lack of safety precautions rather than it being a large city.”**
Console went on to explain that the major difference between Philadelphia and Allegheny Counties from was that Allegheny had 78 percent seatbelt usage while Philly only had 40 percent usage.** This trend is not an unusual phenomenon for Philadelphia either. PennDOT data shows that since 2007 seatbelt usage in Philly has ranged from 32 to 41 percent.**
“The numbers do not lie,” Console stated. “It cannot be purely chance that Philadelphia County drivers are not buckling up and it just so happens that 8 out of 10 crashes that occur there result in death or injury.”
It is imperative that all drivers buckle up every time they are in a vehicle, no matter if travelling down the street or hours away. In Pennsylvania it is not a primary offense to drive without a seatbelt, despite the fact that it is in 32 states nationwide.*Pennsylvania is not following the lead of the national trend that it is important to enforce seatbelt usage. It is not known if or when PA will make changes to its law regarding buckling up while in a car, but Console suggests that making it a more serious traffic violation may improve seatbelt usage across the state—as no county has higher than 88 percent usage in accidents.**
The car accident lawyers at Console & Hollawell, P.C. have been representing accident victims throughout Pennsylvania since 1994. They are firm believers that added safety precautions taken by motorists could have a significant impact on the number of those being hurt or killed on PA roadways each year.