In the state of Wisconsin, all individuals over the age of four, no matter where they are seated in a motor vehicle, must use a seat belt. Children under the age of four must be restrained in an age-appropriate child restraint seat. Wisconsin seatbelt usage is currently at an all-time high of 88%. However, Wisconsin’s seatbelt usage rate is still behind the national average, which is at 89%. Likewise, Wisconsin lags behinds its neighboring states, who have a seatbelt usage rate of 90% or more. This is despite the fact that Wisconsin has a primary or standard seatbelt enforcement law, which means that a police officer can pull over a driver simply due to the fact that he or she or a passenger is not using a seatbelt. Typically, states with a primary seatbelt enforcement law have a higher compliance rate with seatbelt laws.
Seatbelt usage at all times is the single most effective way to protect against being ejected from or thrown around a vehicle in the event of a crash. This is the case for both drivers and passengers, no matter where they are seated in the vehicle. Serious and fatal injuries that result from motor vehicle occupants who fail to buckle up as required create massive economic losses, which impact all of society, who pays for these losses in the form of higher insurance premiums, taxes, and other types of public funding. For instance, in 2013, these economic losses cost more than $2.7 billion.
When any type of vehicle accident occurs as a result of a driver’s negligence, and causes injury to a passenger, driver of another vehicle, or even a pedestrian, the injured individual may have a claim for damages under Wisconsin law. However, there are strict time limits on personal injury claims in the state of Wisconsin, and you can lose your right to compensation if you do not consult an experienced lawyer in time. Don’t delay in contacting the Madison personal injury attorneys of Boller & Vaughan, and set up your free consultation today.