Whenever you get into a motor vehicle in Georgia, you make a potentially life-saving choice. This choice is the same if you’re a driver or a passenger. It involves putting on a seat belt.

If you choose not to put on a seat belt, you increase your chances of dying in a collision exponentially. If you choose to put one on, you may gain the extraordinary ability to walk away from many deadly accidents without a scratch.

In a recent fatal accident that happened in Metro Atlanta, a 33-year-old man paid the price for not donning his safety belt. His niece is now asking that others let his unfortunate loss serve as an example. “Everybody out there, just wear your seat belts,” she told local news reporters, “Stay safe.”

Neither her uncle nor his 31-year-old passenger in this crash had been wearing their seat belts at the time of the collision. Both died as a result of their catastrophic injuries. Perhaps it’s impossible to know for sure, but the fact that they did not have seat belts on leaves one to wonder if they could have survived this accident if they had worn them.

National Safety Council statistics show that Georgia experienced an increase in car accident deaths during 2014 and 2016 because of declining seat belt law compliance among drivers and their passengers. Among the various states with rising vehicle death statistics, Georgia ranked number five.

Failure to wear a seat belt, even though it’s the law, will not preclude you from potentially receiving financial compensation from a personal injury lawsuit. However, in some cases, it could reduce the amount of money you’re able to receive. If you have questions about the viability of your potential car accident case, investigate what Georgia state civil liability laws have to say about your situation.