Seat Belt Use Differs Across the Country

The culture around the use of seat belts has changed a lot in United States since the early 1980’s. Today many of us take it for granted that using a seat belt in a serious car accident will reduce the chance of injury or even death. The obvious benefit of seat belt use is not as clear to some because one in seven adults still do not wear a seat belt every time they use a motor vehicle.

Culture and seat belt safety laws may offer an explanation to the statistic because some areas of the country routinely wear seat belts more than other regions. The West Coast states of California, Oregon and Washington lead the country in the highest percentage of regular seat belt use. Oregon leads the country with 94 percent of people there reporting that they always wear a seat belt. California came in second with 93.2 percent, and Washington came in third with 92 percent.

The Plains states of North Dakota and South Dakota came in last place and second to last in the percentage of people living those respective states that say they always wear a seat belt. The percentage of people who always wear a seat belt in North Dakota is 59.2 percent and in South Dakota it is 59.7 percent.

There may be a correlation with the type of seat belt laws on the books in different states and the percentage of people who say they always wear their seat belt. The West Coast states all have mandatory seat belt laws where police can pull a vehicle over if they believe an occupant is not wearing a seat belt. In comparison, North and South Dakota have laws were an officer may issue a seat belt ticket only after pulling the vehicle over for another reason. Regardless of a state’s seat belt law, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has determined that seat belts significantly reduce car accident injuries.



Professional chef helps invent bicycle safety technology

A professional chef has helped create a novel technology meant to assist those who get injured in bicycle accidents or other action sports. The chef, Biju Thomas, is known for his cooking and makes race day meals for professional bicyclists like Lance Armstrong and Levi Leipheimer. He may soon be known for another creation but this conception will potentially be worn by the 57 million bicyclists in the United States and more.

Thomas came up with an idea to create a safety device that works in conjunction with a special fabric that determines whether a cyclist has suffered an injury impact. The safety system is comprised of a helmet that is outfitted with a fabric that contains sensors and a wireless communications device that fits in the air vent of a bicycle helmet. When a rider suffers impact the sensors measure the impact using algorithms designed to determine whether a clinically significant impact has occurred. If the sensors determine that a clinically significant impact has occurred then the wireless device communicates with the user’s cell phone, which is then prompted to alert medical services and their car accident lawyers Florida.

The chef thought of the idea after being around bicyclists and being a bicyclist himself for so long. Thomas believes such a system was necessary because bicyclists train alone for hours and are often far away from emergency services. The idea also comes at a time when concussions and traumatic brain injury have gained attention in the news. The safety system will help deliver quick medical attention, which is important for diagnostics in brain injury situations. Beyond bike accidents, the chef hopes to market the device, the SenseTech HALO, to snowboarders and skiers.