On June 16, Scott Davis of Jacksboro lost control of his pickup truck traveling southbound on I-75. He overcorrected and the truck flipped multiple times, ejecting him from the vehicle. Davis wasn’t wearing his seatbelt, and died at the scene.

The same day, Frank Erwin was driving eastbound on Highway 70 in Pegram when he went off the road going around a curve. His vehicle wasn’t found for five days; it struck a group of trees and wound up in a ravine. Erwin wasn’t wearing a seatbelt either, and was ejected from the car. He died in the accident.

According to comments left on the ABC News 2 article about Frank Erwin, he was highly decorated Marine. Erwin, a Vietnam veteran, was also a former Metro Police Officer. As such, he’d seen his share of risk. Erwin, at the very least, should have known better; seat belts save lives.

Why seatbelts are important

We all know that seat belts can protect us. It’s even against the law to ride around in Tennessee without a seat belt on. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tells us that “Unrestrained vehicle occupants are more likely than restrained occupants to be fatally injured in a crash, so belt use is much lower among fatally injured occupants. Among fatally injured passenger vehicle occupants age 13 and older in 2013, 47 percent of drivers and 43 percent of passengers were belted.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention points out that seatbelts reduce the risk of injury or death by half, and that airbags and seatbelts used together provide the best form of protection during an accident.

We’ve said it before, and you’ve heard it before; seat belts save lives. At RML, we have adopted the Safe Driving Policy promoted by the American Association for Justice. You can help keep yourself and others safe on the road by:

  • Always wearing a seatbelt
  • Driving without any hand-held device of any kind
  • Reducing distractions on the road
  • Ending phone calls/texting when learning that the recipient is driving
  • Being a good role model for family, friends and co-workers by practicing safe driving habits

Accidents do happen, but seat belts can help make sure that accidents don’t take lives. If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident and have been injured as a result, please contact the Rocky McElhaney Law Firm for a free consultation at our Nashville, Gallatin or Knoxville office.