How important is it to wear your seat belt?

Seat belts may seem like an unnecessary nuisance, but the truth is: seat belts save lives. If a distracted, aggressive or drunk driver collides with your car, what can you do about it? You can do your best to swerve out of the way when you see the car headed toward you. Perhaps you can anticipate an accident that’s waiting to happen when you see a driver violating speed limits. Maybe you can slow down and let the vehicle pass you. However, there’s one thing you can do for sure—wear your seat belt.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), seat belts are the best defense against impaired, aggressive and distracted drivers.

Seat Belts Statistics

In 2019, out of the 22,215 people in passenger vehicles who died in car crashes, 47% were not wearing seat belts.

Research shows that seat belts saved 14,955 lives in 2017. If an additional 2,549 people had worn seat belts, it would’ve saved their lives as well.

People ejected from vehicles almost always die. Seat belts can keep you secured inside the vehicle.

Is there a right way to wear a seat belt?

There is. The belt should not be near your neck. It should lie across your chest and not be slack. The lap part of the belt should be below the belly and fitting snugly across your hips and pelvic bone. Do not place a shoulder belt behind your arm or back. Do not place a lap belt over your belly.

What if you’re pregnant? Should you wear a seat belt?

Yes, doctors recommend buckling up through all stages of pregnancy.

Seat belts save lives, but from a legal perspective, does wearing a seat belt matter?

Yes, it does. New York law requires drivers and passengers to wear seat belts. If you suffered serious injuries in a car crash, the judge would assign a percentage of fault to all parties involved in the accident, including the victim. Failing to wear a seatbelt could result in being assigned a percentage of fault. The court would reduce your compensation for damages based on your percentage of fault.

Seriously injured in a car accident?

Sackstein, Sackstein & Lee, LLP provides a free consultation to review the accident and determine whether grounds exist for a lawsuit. Call our toll free number at (888) 519-6400 or reach out to us through our contact form.