According to the reporting of the News & Advance, a 19-year-old Hardy woman was killed on Wednesday, November 27. The incident took place in Bedford County, according to police. The accident was said to be a head-on collision.
The authorities described the accident as involving two cars that smashed into each other around 3:14 p.m. on Virginia 619 in western Bedford County. The Virginia State Police said that the incident took place a third of a mile west of Pedigo Road. The deceased was driving east in a 2005 Nissan Altima when she crossed the center line of the road and slammed into a 2001 Daewoo Leganza that was coming in the other direction toward her.
The police confirmed that the deceased woman, Kendra C. Shepherd of Hardy, was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash. After the EMS and the police were on the scene, she was transported to Roanoke Memorial Hospital for treatment of her injuries. Shepherd died at the hospital.
Amoni M. Logan, 18, of Goodview, was identified by authorities as the driver of the Daewoo. Logan sustained serious injuries as a result of the crash and was transported to the hospital, as well. Logan was also not wearing a seatbelt.
The authorities have indicated that the investigation into the cause of the crash and the details that led to it remain ongoing. It is unclear at this time if intoxication was a factor in the crash.
Seatbelts Save Lives
The “Seatbelts Save Lives Campaign” along with the “Click It or Ticket” campaigns were launched by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in response to the overwhelming proof of how important wearing a seatbelt is for both drivers and passengers alike. These campaigns have been around for many years, working to motivate drivers and passengers to buckle up.
In the United States, traffic accidents are the leading cause of personal injuries. Wearing a seatbelt is the most proactive safety measure a driver or passenger can do to reduce their risk for injuries, severe injuries, or death in a car accident. In 2017, the NHTSA reports that wearing a seatbelt saved almost 15,000 lives. That same year there were 37,133 Americans killed in motor vehicle accidents, an astounding 47% did not wear a seatbelt. If everyone wore a seatbelt in 2017, over 2,500 lives would have been saved.
So why does wearing a seatbelt make such a significant impact on safety while in a car? Seatbelts secure bodies inside of vehicles and help to prevent them from increased impact or ejection from vehicles. Those individuals who do not wear a seatbelt in an automobile are 30 times more likely to be ejected. When a body is ejected from a vehicle, the end result is almost always deadly.
While airbags are an important part of the safety equation, they alone will not protect you fully in the event of a crash. Airbags are a critical component towards saving your life in a serious crash, but alone, the speed at which they deploy is so much that they have the ability to substantially injure you. There have been many instances of defective airbags going off without accidents even triggering them and the results to the front seat driver and passengers have been devastating.
Wearing a seatbelt every time you hit the road provides you with invaluable protection against harm. The evidence is clear, front-seat passengers reduce the risk of fatal injury by 45% if they wear a seatbelt, and they can avoid moderate injury by 50%. Truck drivers can reduce the risk of fatality in an accident by 60% if a seatbelt is worn, and critical injuries will be reduced by 65%. Males are the most at-risk group for accidents and in 2017, 51% of passenger vehicle occupants who were male that died from car crashes were not wearing a seatbelt.
Seatbelt Laws in Virginia
Wearing a seatbelt is the law in the state of Virginia. Any driver and passenger who is 16 years of age and older and sits in the front seat of a car must wear a seatbelt. Those young children who are under the age of 16, no matter where they sit, must also wear a seatbelt in a car or must be restrained in an appropriate child safety seat while in a vehicle.
If you are over the age of 18, the laws are secondarily enforced. What exactly does that mean? Older adults cannot be pulled over simply because they are not wearing a seatbelt, there must be another reason for pulling their vehicles over. Therefore, if you are speeding, for instance, and you get pulled over and you are also not wearing a seatbelt, you will face violations for both speeding and not wearing your seatbelt.
While enforcement is secondary in Virginia, it is primary in many other states. Therefore it is prudent for drivers to always wear their seatbelt, not only for safety reasons but also to avoid being pulled over and ticketed.
Lynchburg Virginia Automobile Accident Attorneys Who Care
If you were involved in a crash that was not your fault but resulted in severe injuries, you need to obtain compensation for your losses. The Virginia catastrophic accident injury attorneys at the Straw Law Firm will help you pursue a successful personal injury claim against the negligent party who caused your damages. We are the Lynchburg, Virginia personal injury lawyers you want supporting you when you are seeking the highest amount of compensation after your accident.
Accidents have stressful and challenging outcomes such as injuries from which to recover, inability to work and make a living, property damage, emotional trauma, and stress at home. This is why, when you have been victimized by a negligent party, you pursue a personal injury claim that will yield a fair settlement for your damages.
Do not hesitate to call us at (434) 595-3581 and speak to one of our highly knowledgeable Virginia personal injury attorneys today. We care deeply about victims in Virginia and we will guide you through the personal injury claim process and answer all of your questions.