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Massachusetts seatbelt use on the rise. What’s driving the increase?

Seatbelts save lives. As seatbelt use has increased nationwide, the fatality rate for motor vehicle accidents has plummeted. That’s probably why seatbelt usage continues to rise in Massachusetts. An estimated 67 percent of Massachusetts motorists wear seatbelts, according to a 2008 study. That’s up dramatically since 1998, when 51 percent of Massachusetts drivers wore seatbelts.

Even so, Massachusetts lags far behind the rest of country in seatbelt usage. The difference may have to do with different seatbelt laws in different states. States like Massachusetts have secondary enforcement seatbelt laws. This means police cannot pull someone over simply for not wearing their seatbelt in Massachusetts. Police in Massachusetts can only issue a $25 ticket for not wearing a seatbelt if there’s another traffic violation.

States with primary seatbelt laws (meaning police can stop someone simply for not wearing their seatbelt) report that 88 percent of motorists wear seatbelts. States without such laws report that 75 percent of motorists wear seatbelts.

Seatbelts are not perfect. They are only effective if they function correctly. And sometimes, seatbelts have fatal flaws.

Several years ago, a gifted young professional baseball player, Brian Cole, was killed when his Ford SUV rolled over and his seatbelt failed to hold him in place. An investigation found that Cole had on his seatbelt. Ford insisted there was nothing wrong with the seatbelt. The courts disagreed. Recently, a jury ordered Ford to pay Cole’s family $131 million, claiming the seatbelt did not operate correctly and contributed to Cole’s death.

Accidents happen fast. You life can change in an instant. What would you do if you were injured in a car accident? What if you couldn’t work? How would you pay your bills? What if your insurance company refused to pay you? You need an action plan. You need someone who’s not afraid to take on big insurance companies. You need someone who understands the law. You need someone experienced with winning such complicated cases. You need the Law Offices of Mark E. Salomone.

Our lawyers have years of experience successfully representing car accident victims in Massachusetts. We know the games insurance companies play to avoid paying victims. Level the playing field. Call a law firm dedicated to getting results for our clients. Contact Mark E. Salomone today. We mean business.