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Stricter seat belt laws could save lives

The seat belt laws in Louisiana are among the strictest in the nation as even rear seat passengers in the Pelican State can be ticketed for not buckling up. Road safety advocates have long urged lawmakers in other states to pass similar legislation, and the findings of a study published by the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health on March 29 could make these arguments more persuasive. A team of researchers studied liver injuries suffered by car accident victims between 2010 and 2015, and they found that seat belt use greatly increased the chances of surviving such an injury.

The study, which was based on information taken from the National Trauma Data Bank, revealed that seat belt use made severe liver injuries far less likely. They also discovered that car accident victims who suffered serious liver injuries died almost twice as often as crash survivors who suffered moderate or minor liver damage. It's important to note that the liver performs vital life functions and is one of the human organs most often injured in motor vehicle accidents.

The researchers also found that vehicle occupants who rely on airbags alone may be making a mistake. While motorists who fastened their seat belts and traveled in vehicles equipped with airbags were generally injured less severely, the research team found that airbags alone provided little in the way of protection.

Seat belt use is sometimes brought up in car accident lawsuits. Negligent drivers may claim that the plaintiffs in these cases would have suffered only superficial injuries had they been properly restrained. Experienced personal injury attorneys could help victims deflect these claims and negotiate for fair compensation.

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