Unbuckled Motorist Killed In Head-On Collision


A 38-year-old man was killed on March 27, 2012, after his car swerved across the median on Interstate 71 in Morrow County and collided head-on with a tractor-trailer, the Columbus Dispatch reported. The Mount Gilead post of the State Highway Patrol said the victim was not wearing a seat belt and was thrown from his vehicle in the wreck. One witness said the motorist had been driving erratically before crossing the median and crashing into a truck loaded with bags of peat moss. According to the Dispatch, the truck driver was not injured and an investigation into the fatal accident continues.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that one in seven people do not buckle up despite the fact that more than half of the victims killed in crashes were not wearing restraints. Furthermore, the CDC also states that deaths and injuries to drivers and passengers from crashes cost $70 billion a year in medical and lost work.

Seat belt laws vary by state, but here in Ohio every driver and front seat passenger is required to wear a seat belt. Any child under 8 years old must ride in some sort of child safety seat (although there are height exceptions for children 4’9” or taller) and every child from 8 to 15 years old must also be secured in a seat belt.

The bottom line for all drivers and motorists remains that in this day and age, it is simply inexcusable not to wear a seat belt—however short that drive might seem. Again, the CDC clearly states that adult seat belt use is “the most effective way to save lives and reduce injuries in crashes.” Furthermore, because of the Tort Reform Act, if it is determined that a victim’s failure to wear a seat belt contributed to his or her injuries from an accident, it will reduce the recovery of such noneconomic damages as pain and suffering among other non-monetary damages.

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