A 42-year-old driver from Northwood, New Hampshire, was found Sunday evening on the side of Interstate 93 in Salem after his vehicle rolled over multiple times. Police have confirmed that the driver, Gary Torrey, was not wearing his seatbelt and was ejected from his vehicle upon impact. Torrey´s 1998 Jeep Cherokee reportedly rolled across three lanes of traffic on I-93 North. Police are investigating the accident but the cause is not yet known.
Torrey faces life-threatening injuries and was taken first taken to Lawrence General Hospital and then by helicopter to Massachusetts General Hospital. He was treated at the scene of the accident by Salem Fire and Rescue.
Section 13A, Chapter 90, of the Commonwealth´s General Laws, states that all occupants of motor vehicles in a private vehicle, including vans and trucks, are required to be properly restrained by a seatbelt: “No person shall operate a private passenger motor vehicle or ride in a private passenger motor vehicle, a vanpool vehicle or truck under eighteen thousand pounds on any way unless such person is wearing a safety belt which is properly adjusted and fastened.”
In 2008 alone, there were 364 recorded fatalities and 3,193 severe injuries connected to car crashes in Massachusetts. Since 2002, the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security’s Highway Safety Division has annually implemented the “Click It or Ticket” campaigns and have reportedly helped to increase Massachusetts seatbelt use from 51% in 2002 to 74% in 2009. Fatalities of vehicle occupants also dropped from 57% of crash fatalities to 23% during this same 7-year period.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that seatbelts save over 13,000 lives per year in the United States. The NHTSA provides the following tips on the importance of seatbelt safety:
• Wearing your seatbelt is the best way to protect yourself in an accident • Airbags do not replace seatbelts • To buckle-up correctly, the lap belt and shoulder belt should be secure across the pelvis and rib cage • In order for a seatbelt to work correctly, it must fit correctly; belt extenders or new shoulder belts are available from car dealers and manufacturers.
• Everyone should wear a seatbelt despite age or condition. Pregnant women, obese, and eldery, can all effectively buckle-up safely.
Single-car accidents are common throughout the densely populated state of Massachusetts. Whether you have accidently backed up into a pole or were run off the road by another vehicle, at Altman and Altman we have handled numerous single-car collision cases. Often times when an accident occurs by a phantom vehicle, it is our job to prove that such a vehicle existed. In the above is case above we do not know enough about the circumstances to know if a second car was involved. In cases such as this, seeing if there is any paint transfer, side or rear damage, any possible witnesses, or any other piece of evidence that would help the firm piece together how the accident occurred.
If you have been involved in a road accident, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced Massachusetts car accident lawyer as soon as possible.
NH man flown to hospital after Salem rollover crash, The Telegraph, June 27, 2011
Click It Or Ticket Overview, Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security
The top 5 things you should know about buckling up, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
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