Wearing Seatbelts Can Provide Protection Against Reckless Drivers on Virginia Roads

Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death among individuals aged 1 – 54 in the United States. In a recent car accident in Virginia, reckless driving led to one fatality and multiple injuries. According to a local news report, a two-vehicle car accident from earlier this month resulted in the death of one person in Orange County, VA. One southbound Ford was traveling on Route 522 when the Ford ran off the right side of the road and hit the guardrail, causing the car to cross into the opposite lane and collide with a northbound car. A passenger in the southbound Ford died at the scene of the crash, while two other passengers were hospitalized with serious injuries. The 20-year-old driver was hospitalized with minor injuries, and charged with reckless driving and failure to maintain proper control of the vehicle. None of the people involved in the accident were wearing seatbelts.

In general, reckless driving is committed by someone who drives his/her vehicle “on any highway recklessly or at a speed or in a manner so as to endanger the life, limb, or property of any person” regardless of the posted speed limit. Unfortunately, drivers on the road may encounter someone driving recklessly at any time of day and on any road. Wearing a seat belt and ensuring that all passengers are properly restrained before a trip begins can help protect against severe injuries or death.

Seatbelts are known as one of the most effective ways to save lives and reduce injuries in crashes according to the CDC. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, of the 23,824 passenger vehicle occupants killed in 2020, 51 percent were not wearing seat belts. Wearing a seat belt during every trip can help save lives.

Virginia law requires that everyone under the age of 18 be properly secured with a seat belt or a child safety seat, no matter where they are sitting in the vehicle, and the driver is responsible for ensuring that this happens. In addition, in Virginia, drivers and passengers must be properly restrained while sitting in the front seat, regardless of age, and anyone 18 and older can be ticketed for failure to comply.

Virginia is one of the few states in the country that follows a pure contributory negligence rule. This means that if a driver is even one percent at fault, the driver will be unable to recover any compensation. While not wearing a seatbelt might contribute to injuries, under Virginia’s contributory negligence laws, failure to wear a seatbelt will not prevent someone from being able to claim compensation for their injuries.

In the event that another was driving recklessly on the road, wearing a seatbelt can help protect against injuries and help save lives. If individuals are injured as a result, the injured parties can sue.

Have You Suffered Injuries in a Virginia Car Accident?

If you or a loved one has suffered injuries or died in a Virginia car accident, contact the Schupak Law Firm today. The dedicated attorneys at our firm have the expertise needed to help Virginia accident victims navigate complex laws and get the result that they deserve. In addition to car accident claims, the Schupak Law Firm handles Virginia claims involving medical malpractice, slips and falls, nursing home and elder abuse, premises liability, and wrongful death. Our attorneys are ready to provide compassionate and excellent representation to clients while helping clients understand complicated areas of law.


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