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Study finds seat belts reduce severity of liver injuries

Missouri motorists may be surprised to learn that some people still believe seat belts are unsafe and prefer to depend on air bags. However, a study shows that seat belts can reduce the severity of liver injuries during car accidents. The study was published in The Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health on March 29.

Liver trauma is a potentially deadly injury that commonly occurs during car accidents. For the study, researchers examined information from the National Trauma Data Bank to find car crash victims who had suffered liver injuries. They identified 51,202 adult victims who either had died while receiving emergency care or had been admitted to the hospital for treatment. Of the who victims suffered severe liver injuries, 15 percent succumbed. The remaining victims suffered mild or moderate liver injuries. Of those, less than 8 percent died.

Researchers found that victims who were wearing seat belts at the time of their car accident were 21 percent less likely to suffer a severe liver injury than those who were not. Victims who wore their seat belts and also had vehicles with air bags were 26 percent less likely to suffer a severe liver injury. Meanwhile, the study found that air bags alone provided no protection against liver injuries. According to the authors of the study, seat belts and air bags provide the most protection when used in tandem with each other.

Victims of car accidents that have been caused by the negligence of another driver often have to undergo months of medical treatment. They might want to have an attorney's help when seeking compensation for their losses.

Source: Reuters, "Seatbelts may protect against severe liver injury in car crashes", Mary Gillis, May 2, 2018

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