What is the 'Submarine Effect' in a Car Accident? | Belt, Bruner & Barnett P.C.

No fee unless we win.

93 Verdicts and Settlements of One Million or more

What is the ‘Submarine Effect’ in a Car Accident?

Jan 31, 2023 | Car Accidents

Motor vehicle accidents are known for causing devastating injuries. However, some of the most severe types of car accident injuries are caused by something known as the “submarine effect.”

This occurs when the passenger or driver is pushed out from under their seatbelt, causing them to be ejected from the vehicle or injured after being tossed around inside the vehicle. You could endure life-threatening injuries if you crash into the windshield or dashboard.

The submarine effect could also occur when the car’s seat cushion is not designed with the submarine effect in mind, or the vehicle suddenly loses its momentum when in operation. If you suffer injuries caused by the submarine effect, you may have grounds for legal action against the liable party.

Submarine Effect Injuries

The submarine effect causes many types of injuries, including:

Children May Be At An Increased Risk

Children are much smaller than adults; therefore, life-threatening abdominal injuries may occur in minors. Children not traveling in an age-appropriate child restraint system may be at an increased risk for submarine effect injuries and other car accident injuries.

Avoiding the Submarine Effect

If you hope to avoid the consequences of a seatbelt submarine injury, you must take precautions certain to protect yourself. These safety measures include:

  • Ensuring the slack on your safety belt is always tight
  • Using seat belt sensors
  • Keeping children in booster seats and child restraint systems until they reach the necessary height and weight limits
  • Making sure your seatbelt fits correctly
  • Not leaving space between your seatbelt and your body
  • Never using cushions or towels when traveling in a vehicle, as this could cause your body to slip down on the seat
  • Not traveling in a car while wearing a heavy coat
  • Never operating a vehicle if another occupant is not wearing their seatbelt correctly

Who's At Fault In a Submarine Effect Situation?

It is difficult to say who is responsible for the injuries and damages caused by the submarine effect. If the vehicle’s seats, seat belts, or other car parts malfunction or are defective, the car manufacturer, distributor, or dealer could be held accountable.

Additionally, suppose a negligent driver is responsible for causing your accident that resulted in a submarine effect situation. In that case, you could file a civil lawsuit against them or a claim with their insurance company. Explore your legal options further with an Alabama car accident lawyer.

Get Help From an Alabama Car Accident Lawyer Today

If you believe the submarine effect caused your devastating injuries and are interested in learning more about your legal options, reach out to an experienced Alabama car accident lawyer at Belt, Bruner & Barnett P.C.

Our firm is proud to offer no-cost, risk-free consultations to car accident victims across the state of Alabama. Claim yours when you call our office at (205) 933-1500 or complete our online contact form.