Liability: Fasten Your Seat Belt

After duly noting that auto accidents kill 50,000 Americans a year, safety experts generally agree that the use of seat belts would save 10% of those lives and reduce serious injuries by one-third. Convinced by the grim statistics, legislators have made seat belts mandatory on new cars in 32 states and the District of Columbia. Still, studies show that motorists are unimpressed; they fail to buckle their belts 50% of the time. Now the law is beginning to develop a powerful persuader: failure to use a seat belt may well bar recovery in...

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