It is common knowledge at this point that seatbelts are an incredibly important component of auto safety. Despite this, though, as a Kent wrongful death attorney and Seattle car accident lawyer, I have seen far too many accidents result in serious injury or death because the seat belt was not being worn. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an estimated 15,383 lives were saved by the use of seatbelts in 2006. This number could have been an additional 5,441 lives higher if all passenger vehicle occupants wore seatbelts that year. Fortunately, the fatality rate for occupants in passenger vehicles has continuously decreased throughout the last decade. As we continue driving into the 21st century, I hope we can continue this trend and lower this fatality number even further.

40-year-old Tony O. Bey from Kent was killed on Sunday, January 30th in a single-car crash. Bey was the passenger in a 2000 Subaru Legacy station wagon traveling eastbound on I-90. The vehicle was about 16 miles west of Ellensburg at around 4:10pm when it flipped over on the road. 19-year-old driver Eric A. Bey and 38-year-old passenger Linda Edwards-Bey were both wearing seatbelts and remained uninjured. However, Tony, who was not wearing a seatbelt, sustained fatal injuries. He was transported to Harborview Medical Center where he died.

This tragic accident goes to show just how important it is to wear a seatbelt. It is important for everyone who hears about this accident to understand that the same result can happen to anyone who doesn’t wear a seatbelt. It is also important for parents especially to realize that their habits in their vehicle will have a profound effect on their children. Surveys issued by NHTSA show that parents who wear safety belt strongly influence children in the vehicle.

It is always difficult to learn of lives lost in auto accidents. The last thing you want to worry about in these situations is legal issues. In an attempt to provide you with much deserved help and assistance, I have co-authored a book with attorney Patrick J. Kang which is a guide for families of Washington wrongful death victims.  The book is called, In Case of Death: Straight Talk on Washington Wrongful Death, and is available at no charge to Washington residents by clicking on the preceding link.

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