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Could seat belts reduce the risk of fatality in Ohio?

Car accidents often end up with tragic outcomes. It may be possible that simple precautions decrease the risk of fatality. Ohio's laws state that seat belts must be worn by the driver and front seat passenger however there is no legal requirement for rear passengers to wear them. When tragedy strikes, it is impossible to know for sure whether it could have been avoided.

In the early hours of a recent Thursday morning, a fatal accident occurred in Wakeman Township when two cars collided head-on. One teenage girl, a rear seat passenger in the car which was struck, was not wearing a seat belt and suffered fatal injuries. The driver, front passenger and a second rear passenger in the same vehicle are believed to be family members of the decedent; all sustained serious injuries but it is not known whether they were wearing seat belts. The driver of the car which crashed into the other was driven by a young man, who was wearing a seat belt and sustained only minor injuries; his rear passenger was not wearing one and she suffered serious injury.

There are no further updates about the medical conditions of the other occupants of the car which was struck. An investigation into the circumstances of the crash is ongoing and funeral arrangements are still pending. The decedent is reported to have been a popular student who was involved in several activities outside of school and her death has affected many of her friends. Her college President is said to have suggested that an appropriate way to honor her will be discussed upon the return of the faculty and students following the holidays.

It is hard to imagine how devastating it is to lose a child. Until the surviving members of the family have recovered from their own injuries, they may not fully begin to comprehend what has taken place. When the investigation into the crash is complete it may provide some answers, which may in turn lead this Ohio family to decide to pursue a claim to recover expenses such as medical, hospital, funeral and burial costs. No one will ever know whether the wearing of seat belts could have reduced the risk in this case, but a successful claim may still provide the family with a sense of justice and serve as an acknowledgment of their great emotional loss.

Source:, Canfield teen killed early today in two-car crash, No author, Dec. 26, 2013

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