ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Dave Snyder, vice president, policy at the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) testified today before the Environment and Transportation Committee in support of HB 1285, which would require all passengers in motor vehicles to wear seatbelts. The following statement may be attributed to Snyder.
“We are experiencing a dramatic rise in deaths on our roadways,” said Snyder. “The National Safety Council (NSC) estimates that 2016 was the deadliest year on the road since 2007. This trend is occurring in all states and Maryland has experienced a similar increase in fatalities.” For example, there were 513 fatalities on Maryland roads in 2015. Also, in Maryland there are approximately 4,800 crashes per year, where at least one person was unrestrained.
“Failure to use seatbelts in all positions all the time, speeding, and distracted and impaired driving are all factors contributing to the increase in auto accident frequency in Maryland,” continued Snyder. “Enacting and enforcing effective laws that improve safety, such as HB 1285, will help save lives and prevent injuries, as well as make auto insurance costs more affordable for consumers. This bill addresses a critical gap in seatbelt use by protecting rear seat vehicle occupants that often don’t have the full protection of airbags.
“Auto safety is the first concern of auto insurers, however the increase in accident frequency and severity comes at a time when repair, labor, medical and other costs associated with accidents also are rising. All of these can lead to an increase in insurance costs for consumers. PCI urges Maryland’s House of Delegates to pass HB 1285,” concluded Snyder.