New York Injury Law Blog

New York Drivers Reminded to Wear Safety Belts

Buckling up when settling into a car should be second nature – like tying your shoes or brushing your teeth – but too many drivers still neglect to wear their seat belt. To help save lives, New York law enforcement and safety advocates continually remind New Yorkers of the importance of wearing a seat belt.  Following the nationwide “Click It or Ticket” seat belt enforcement campaign, New York runs a zero-tolerance enforcement effort coordinated by the State Police.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Click It or Ticket is the most successful seat belt enforcement campaign ever, helping to increase the national seat belt usage rate.  With the help of this campaign, the NHTSA reports a nationwide seat belt usage rate of 84 percent.

However, in its Seatbelt Use in 2011 report, the NHTSA found that drivers in states with a primary enforcement seat belt law have a higher usage of their seat belts than drivers in states with secondary seat belt laws.

New York is one of the “primary law States,” and boasted a seat belt usage rate of 90% in 2010. New York’s mandatory seat belt law dates to 1984.  In fact, New York was the first state to enact a mandatory seat belt law.  Today, 32 states and the District of Columbia have primary enforcement seat belt laws.

In New York, it is a primary offense if the driver or front seat passenger is not wearing a seat belt. In addition, anyone under the age of 16 must be in a proper safety restraint. For the complete details on New York’s seat belt law see New York State’s Occupant Restraint Law.

The National Safety Council, whose mission is to save lives by preventing injuries and deaths at work, in homes and communities and on the road, reports seat belts are 45% effective in saving lives of car passengers and as high as 50% effective for those in light passenger trucks.  According to the NHTSA, safety belts saved 12,713 lives in 2009. Further, if all passengers over the age of five involved in fatal crashes had been restrained, an additional 3,688 lives could have been spared, estimates the NHTSA.

According to SafeNY, the lack of seat belt use in New York car accidents is “New York’s greatest killer,” with 21 percent of highway deaths in New York State occurring to occupants who were unrestrained.  This was a greater factor than alcohol or excessive speed, reports SafeNY.

It is clear that safety belts are lifesavers.  Our Binghamton car accident attorneys urge all occupants of vehicles to wear their seat belts at all times.  We also ask the drivers to make sure your passengers are buckled up before driving.

Contact a Personal Injury Attorney Today

Scott C. Gottlieb, Injury Law Attorney, is a Binghamton accident and injury law firm that handles all types of personal injury and motor vehicle accident cases, including cases involving drunk-driving accidents, wrongful death, cancer misdiagnosis, dog bites, hunting accidents, birth injuries, brain injuries, construction accidents, fall-down injuries and insurance settlements. The firm regularly employs accident reconstruction experts, investigators, photographers and economists to assist in evaluating and preparing personal injury cases.

For more information, call (800) TALK-LAW or use the firm’s online contact form.

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