Doug / 02-13-2015 / Auto Accidents

Speed and Lack of Seatbelt Implicated As Factors in Death of Bob Simon in Fatal Traffic Accident

Bob Simon, CBS New correspondent, was killed in a car accident in New York City on February 11, 2015.  He had become well known for his work on 60 minutes, as well as his international reporting throughout his career.  Members of the newscast world, from Scott Pelley of CBS to Anderson Cooper of CNN, have been speaking out about the unfortunate death and inspiring life of their beloved and respected colleague.

The 73-year-old reporter was a backseat passenger in a Lincoln Town Car, which had been hired to transport him, on Wednesday. Mr. Simon sustained head and chest injuries, and was transported along with the vehicle’s driver to Saint Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.  Unfortunately Mr. Simon had been unrestrained during the accident, which might have been a factor in the extent of his injuries.

Seatbelts play a significant role in saving lives and reducing the chance of serious injuries to vehicle occupants on a daily basis. While the National Highway Safety Administration reports that seatbelt use has reached 86%, a significant 2% increase from 2011, often Taxi and Limousine Company’s like that involved in Mr. Simon’s fatal accident do not require that passengers wear seatbelts.  In 2008, 64% of passengers ages 13-15 and 21-34 who were fatally wounded in traffic collisions were not making use of seatbelt restraints. Research has shown that lap/shoulder seatbelts, when properly used, reduce the risk of fatal injury.  Restrained passengers are less likely to be ejected during a serious accident.  It has been shown that seatbelt use is higher in states that have stricter laws, allowing for drivers to be puller over solely for not complying with restraint requirements.  In the state of Florida all passengers in the front seats of all cars, pickup trucks and vans on Florida roads must wear seatbelts as well as passengers under the age of 18.  Those adults in violation of the seatbelt law are fined $30, while a violation involving an unrestrained child is $60.

The investigation into the contributing causes assert that speed may have been among those factors.  The driver of the other vehicle involved claimed, “he hit me and he looked like he lost control of the car”.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 13,000 lives are lost annually when speed is a factor, which amounts to more than $40 billion. Drivers are at an increased risk for collisions at higher speeds and have less time to adjust to driving conditions and the acts of fellow drivers. Driving recklessly at speeds in excess of the posted limits caused not only an increased risk to that driver, but also to fellow drivers, pedestrians and bystanders.

Unfortunately, car accidents happen everyday in the United States and range from minimal impact “fender benders” to fatal accidents like the one that claimed the life of Mr. Simon. If you or a loved one are involved in a motor vehicle accident and injured you may be entitled to compensation for those injuries. Time can be of the essence in automobile accidents as well as other types of potential law suits please contact us today!

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