One man is dead after being rear-ended by another driver while driving at low speed on Interstate 295 last Monday. Virginia State Police responded to a call to the northbound lanes of I-295 in Hanover County at approximately 9:14 a.m.
Julian Ritch, 60, was driving slowly due to a tire blowout when he was hit from behind by a Dodge Ram. After hitting Ritch, Juan Sanabia, 29, drove the Dodge into the median and struck a tree. The force of the impact sent Ritch’s vehicle into the right lane, where it came to a rest sideways.
Ritch, who was not wearing a seatbelt, died at the scene. Sanabia, who was wearing a seatbelt, was taken to the hospital for treatment of non-serious injuries. No charges were filed in the car crash.
The importance of wearing a seatbelt
Statistics prove that wearing a seatbelt saves lives. Seatbelt use not only reduces the number of fatalities when there are accidents, but also makes the injuries that occur less catastrophic. Although seatbelt use across the nation was reported at 90.7% in 2019, there are tragically still too many fatal accidents from people not using a seatbelt. Of the 22,215 passenger vehicle fatalities from that year, 47% were not wearing seatbelts.
In addition, there has been a rise in distracted and risky behaviors, including driving without a seatbelt, that suggests that these behaviors may have contributed to the severity of injury and death in the past year.
Many people believe that an airbag will protect them from injury if they aren’t wearing a seatbelt. They also believe that wearing a seatbelt is not necessary for a quick drive not far from home or when driving slowly. But most fatalities happen within 25 miles of home and with speeds of under 25 mph.
Injury from a car crash can be serious, and having to deal with insurance companies can add another layer of stress to accident victims. Whiplash can take time to show, and chronic pain from injuries sustained in a car accident can become debilitating over time. If the accident was caused by the negligence of another driver, it is wise to find experienced legal counsel to help you develop the best strategy for obtaining the financial compensation you deserve.