It is hard to believe, but up until the late 1950s, many cars were manufactured without seatbelts. Volvo has a reputation for manufacturing safe vehicles, and part of the reason for that is that in 1958, a mechanical engineer working for Volvo invented the first 3 point seatbelt. Until that time only lap belts were available. The three-point seatbelt was much more effective than the lap belt because it protects the upper body as well as the lower body. This 3 point seatbelt created in 1958 is essentially the same seatbelt we wear today. Volvo was so invested in making automobiles safer to operate that they donated this design to all car manufacturers.
Car manufacturers soon began to offer seatbelts as an optional additive after recognizing the effectiveness. You could even buy them in gas stations! After seeing the widespread use, the United States passed a law in 1966 requiring that every car be equipped with seatbelts. State-wide laws requiring the use of seatbelts were mostly passed in the 1980s. Tennessee enacted its first law requiring the use of seatbelts in 1986.
Statistics show that approximately 11,000 lives are saved in the US each year by wearing seatbelts. In addition, it helps reduce severity of injuries and therefore reduces medical bills for treatment. Also, if you are in a car accident and ARE NOT wearing a seatbelt, the defense can offer as evidence that you were more severely injured by failing to buckle up. I have represented people injured in automobile collisions for the last 24 years. Whether you were wearing a seatbelt or not, if you are injured in a car accident, I can help. Insurance companies are trained to quickly gather evidence and use that evidence against you to save them money. If you are feeling overwhelmed and need someone with experience and compassion to help you, please contact us for a free consultation.