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Unfortunately, many parts of the country have been impacted by severe storms and tornadoes in recent weeks. Our attorneys are thinking of these people in this time of tragedy and need. However, while we cannot control the weather, we feel it is important to discuss what we can do to best protect ourselves when dangerous weather strikes. Hopefully, with the knowledge of safety tips, Midwest motorists can remain safe from injury.

You may have wondered what to do if you are in your car when inclement and hazardous weather strikes. What if you are not close to home? What if you are on the highway and not close to any shelter, or if you are on a rural road and have no place for miles to pull over to safety?

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, there are signs to look for to know if a tornado is coming. When you do not see a visible tornado, be on the lookout and listen for a strong and persistent rotation in the clouds. Also, pay attention for whirling dust and debris under a cloud base, because sometimes tornadoes may not have a funnel. Drivers should also be watchful for tornadoes when here there is hail or heavy rain followed by the onset of a calm period or the onset of a fast or intense shift in the winds.

We have discussed with our readers many times the idea that all drivers must uphold their legal responsibility to keep others safe on the road through safe driving. Where a driver is reckless and is the cause of injury to others, that driver can be held accountable for negligence through a personal injury lawsuit. However, even when negligent drivers cannot be stopped, it is important that we all know what we can best do to protect ourselves and our loved ones from suffering serious personal injuries in an accident.

It has been shown that seat belt use is the most effective way to protect ourselves from others’ negligence and potential injuries of motor vehicle accidents. The National Safety Council has gathered and presented some noteworthy statistics surrounding seat belts. For one, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has shown that seat belts are the most effective traffic safety devices for preventing death and injuries. In fact, they are so effective that they can reduce the risk of injuries from a collision by 50 percent. Additionally, just between the years 2004 to 2008, seat belts saved approximately 75,000 lives. Furthermore, of those that died from traffic accidents in passenger vehicles in 2007, 42 percent of victims were not wearing seat belts.

One study done by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in 2009 indicated that if seat belt use was at 90 percent in every state, 1600 lives could be saved, and 22,000 injuries could be prevented. Right now, seat belt use is at an average of 88 percent nationally. There are many groups less likely to wear belts, including teens and truck drivers.

Our attorneys care greatly about the safety and well-being of children on the roads and fight for innocent young victims who have suffered personal injuries due to others’ negligence. By defending the rights of minors, we hope to draw attention to safety issues in order to prevent future accidents and save others from serious personal injuries. It is for this reason that we also like to bring news and guidelines regarding child safety to our readers.

According to an article by Cars.com, there are several things to keep in mind when you transition your young child out of car seats and into adult sized seat belts. Their safety is important, as your child is in a transition stage where they have outgrown car seats but still may be somewhat small for the regular seats and belt in the vehicle that adult passengers use. For that reason, it is important to do all you can to keep your young passenger free from harm’s way.

There is a proper height and age at which children can move from using car seats to exclusively using seat belts. When a child is between 8 to 12 years old, and is at least 4 feet 9 inches tall, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that children can begin using seat belts in the back seat of the vehicle. Children should continue to ride in the backseat of the car until they reach 13 years of age because the impact of front seat air bags can seriously injure or kill a young person, especially those under 80 pounds.

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