The use of seat belts has been strongly promoted in the United States for many years. Current legislation in Arizona requires that seatbelts be used in most situations while occupying a vehicle. Studies and experience show that buckling up can significantly increase your chances of surviving a motor vehicle accident and preventing serious injuries. While most of us know that putting on our seatbelt will help prevent serious injuries in an accident, this is not always the case. Each year numerous individuals are injured as a result of defective, outdated or inadequately made seat belts. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident while wearing a seat belt, it is important to contact an experienced Arizona personal injury attorney, preferably one with years of experience handling cases against manufacturers, where defective seatbelts have led to injuries.
Current Arizona law requires that seat belts be worn while operating a vehicle. Arizona Revised Statutes 28-909 and those that follow describe the requirement of seatbelts in Arizona. The violation of not wearing a seatbelt is a secondary enforcement, meaning that a police officer may only cite a driver for a seat belt violation if the driver committed another primary violation that led to the stop in the first place.
Defective seatbelts by manufacturers can lead to serious injuries and even fatalities. According to the Center for Auto Safety, there have been over 180 safety recalls involving seat belts in both passenger and commercial vehicles from 2000 through 2006. There are a range of seat belt design flaws and inadequacies:
- Belt webbing being cut by another part rubbing against it
- Buckles that seem to latch but don’t
- Shoulder belts that might not retract
- Lap belt only designs
- Seat belt may not holding an occupant in place
- The retractor component of a seat belt malfunction, leaving slack in the seat belt
- Other failures of a mechanical components of the seat belt system
As a result of defective or faulty seat belts, individuals may suffer serious injuries:
- Spinal cord injury
- Bone fractures
- Brain injury
- Head injury
- Internal organ damage
If you or a loved one has been injured due to a faulty or defective seat belt, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Since Arizona personal injury law is fairly complicated regarding injuries caused by defective and inadequate seat belts, you should strongly consider contacting an experienced Arizona personal injury, who specializes in seat belt injuries.