Last week we blogged about a tragic car accident outside of Payne County, Oklahoma that killed 5 people. Three of the five people killed were not wearing seatbelts. This week, another fatality on Oklahoma roads can be linked to the lack of seatbelt use. On Saturday morning, an 18-year-old El Reno teen was killed in a two-vehicle collision in Blaine County when he was ejected 10 feet from the point of impact. According to EnidNews.com, he was a passenger along with a 17-year-old male and a 17-year-old female in a vehicle driven by a 23-year-old female
The 23-year was driving eastbound on Oklahoma 58 when she failed to yield and struck a vehicle driven by a 48-year-old mother and her 10-year-old. The 17-year-old was also ejected from the vehicle and suffered head, neck, arm, leg, and internal and external truck injuries and is in critical condition. All of the other parties involved in the crash were treated and released with minor injuries. Not surprisingly, the 18-year old and 17-year-old males were the only ones not wearing seatbelts.
Under Oklahoma law, all drivers and front seat passengers ages 13 and older must have a seat belt fastened at all times while the vehicle is being driven. Children ages 12 and under are covered under the Oklahoma Mandatory Child Restraint Law. The seat belt law in Oklahoma is a primary law, meaning a law enforcement officer can stop and cite a driver solely for a violation of not wearing a seatbelt.
As an Oklahoma personal injury lawyer, I see too many incidents where drivers and passengers are ejected from vehicles because they were not wearing a seatbelt. Accidents like this one seem like an everyday occurrence in newspapers and make you wonder how many accidents can be avoided by simply buckling up.