Philadelphia Passengers Must Buckle Up to Reduce Injury Risks

July 22nd, 2015

Professional drivers can become responsible if a passenger in the back of a vehicle sustains an injury as a result of the negligence of the driver. Not only are taxi drivers and drivers of chauffeured vehicles liable for losses, but so are the companies they work for in many cases. Victims who are injured as passengers can consult with a car accident lawyer to determine the best course of action.

seatbelt-602535-mCar services and professional drivers are not the only motorists who may be held responsible for causing a crash and harming their passengers. Any driver who behaves negligently and who injures others in the car with him could possibly be sued and made to provide compensation for injury losses. The injuries suffered by passengers in motor vehicles are often very serious because passengers frequently fail to wear seat belts.

An unbelted passenger is typically still entitled to full compensation if a driver or other motorist is careless and causes an accident to happen. The fact the passenger was not buckled up does not reduce the liability of a driver for breaching his obligation to be safe on the road.

Passengers Often Fail to Wear Seat Belts in Vehicles

Passengers in back seats frequently fail to wear seat belts, especially when in a taxi or a vehicle driven by a professional driver. The New York Times reports many motorists feel safer in the car operated by a professional, even though the passenger could be in serious jeopardy if he is in the back and not buckled in.

The recent death of Nobel Prize winning mathematician John Nash and his wife drew attention to the risks faced by passengers in the back of taxis. The 1997 death of Princess Diana and her boyfriend was also a high profile example of a passenger who was killed when a crash occurred when occupants were unbuckled in the back of a car. According to ABC News, a CBS-correspondent was also killed earlier this year in the back of a town car when a collision occurred and he did not have his seat belt on.

Despite the risks, one study showed 62 percent of passengers do not wear seat belts when they are in a taxi. This can be especially dangerous because of the partition separating the taxi driver from the passengers. Facial injuries when unbuckled passengers hit the partition are so common, emergency room doctors have actually nicknamed the injuries “partition face.”

Passengers have the misconception sitting in the back is safe even without a seat belt, in part because almost half of all states in the country do not require adults sitting in the back of a vehicle to be buckled in. Pennsylvania, for example, only requires adults to be buckled if sitting in the driver or passenger seat.

Every passenger should buckle up in a car service, taxi, or in a friend’s car. It is the obligation of the transportation company to provide seat belts that are in good working order, but passengers must choose to use them. Drivers who have friends in the back of their vehicle should also tell their friends to buckle up to reduce the chances of serious injuries the driver could potentially become liable for.

Our personal injury attorneys in Philadelphia are dedicated to fighting for the rights of accident victims. Contact Flager & Associates at 215-953-5200 or visit www.flagerlaw.com today to schedule a consultation. Serving Philadelphia, throughout Bucks County, and surrounding areas. 

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