As a driver, one of the first things you do when get into your car is fasten your seatbelt. We have been doing this for so long now that it comes as second nature. Many younger drivers will not be able to remember a time when seatbelts were not compulsory.
Seatbelts were introduced to try and reduce the severity of injuries that are suffered in car accidents. Common car driver injury claims are made when a driver of a car has been injured in a car accident that was not their own fault. Law firms like the well-established Accident Advice Helpline help drivers to claim compensation for their injuries.
The nature of these claims has changed overtime as safety features have been installed into more and more cars. Some common car driver injury claims over the years are considered here.
Seatbelts were first used in the United States during the 1930s. They became more common amongst European car manufacturers during the 1950s and 1960s, then at the end of the 1960s they became compulsory for all new cars. They were only fitted in the front seats. Prior to this, if a car was involved in a head-on collision, the driver would either hit their chest on the steering wheel or be thrown through the windscreen into the road.
1970s and 1980s
During this time, seatbelts were fitted in the front of the car, but it was not compulsory to wear them. Therefore, many drivers did not bother and continued to suffer serious injuries if they were involved in a collision. There were many public education campaigns on TV and radio to encourage people to wear seatbelts, yet some people still did not use them.
Eventually, in 1983, a law was passed that made all front seat passengers wear seatbelts. Of course, this did not stop injuries. Serious car accidents still resulted in horrific injuries and deaths. Whiplash became common, as the seatbelt stopped all of the body but not the head from being propelled forward. This resulted in the typical pulling of the neck that characterises whiplash. Many drivers were now injured by the passengers in the rear of the car being propelled forward and crashing into the back of them. People started to think that maybe rear seatbelts would also be a good idea.
1990s to the present day
By the late 1980s, seatbelts were required to be fitted in the rear seats of cars, and finally in 1991 it became compulsory to wear seatbelts in the rear seats. This has reduced the severity of injuries suffered in car accidents. However, car accidents still occur and people continue to be injured.
If you have been injured in a car accident, call Accident Advice Helpline today on 0800 689 0500 to make a claim for personal injury compensation.