A seatbelt is your best defense against drunk drivers and other dangers on the roadway. If you get into a car crash, your seatbelt will help keep you inside the vehicle, which is important because being ejected from a vehicle is almost always fatal.
Seatbelts also work with other safety devices in your car, like airbags, to prevent more serious injuries. In 2017, seatbelt use in passenger vehicles saved an estimated 14,955 lives and prevented countless serious injuries. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), buckling up reduces your risk of fatal injury by 45% and moderate to critical injury by 50%.
New York Seat Belt Law
New York State requires all drivers and passengers to wear seatbelts in the car. Adult passengers can get tickets for failing to wear seatbelts, and drivers can be ticketed for passengers under the age of 16 who are not wearing seatbelts.
The New York Seat Belt Law mandates seatbelt use for all drivers and passengers in New York State – no matter where they are sitting in the car and where the car is headed.
What If It’s a Short Drive?
The majority of fatal crashes happen within 25 miles from your home and at speeds of less than 40 mph. Even if you’re just going down the street, buckling up can save your life. Remember, no journey is “safe,” no matter how routine.
You never know when a drunk driver will lose control of their vehicle or a distracted driver will run a red light. Seatbelts are always prepared for a collision, and when worn correctly, they will help keep you safe.
Does Fit Matter?
Yes. Your seatbelt will not be as effective if you are not wearing it correctly. Your lap belt should fit snugly across your pelvis (not your stomach), and your shoulder belt should fall across your rib cage and fit securely in the middle of your chest – away from your neck. Your rib cage and pelvis are the parts of your body that are best able to sustain a collision, so if your seatbelt doesn’t fit correctly, consider a seatbelt adjuster or a seatbelt extender.
Can Your Seatbelt Hurt You in a Crash?
Unfortunately, everything in your car can cause bodily harm in the event of a crash. Still, your seatbelt and airbags can save your life – assuming they function correctly.
While a seatbelt may leave you with broken ribs, crashing without a seatbelt could kill you. The best way to keep yourself safe is to buckle up and drive defensively.
If someone else harms you during a car accident, you will have more options if you survive the crash.
Learn About Your Rights and Legal Options
At Scarzafava, Basdekis & Dadey, PLLC, we can help you through the aftermath of car, truck, and motorcycle accidents. Wearing your seatbelt can strengthen any personal injury case you choose to file, and we can even help you when seatbelts and other defective products fail.
If you were in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, call us at (607) 228-8404 or contact us online for a free consultation. We’ve been helping clients since 1981, and we can help you, too!