Buckle Up!  What Everyone Should Know About Seatbelts

Road safety concept young woman fastening her seat belt Seatbelts are the most important car safety device protecting passengers today.

The consequences of not wearing a seatbelt can range from a simple fine to injury or death. 

New York’s Occupant Restraint Laws 

In the state of New York, the driver and all front seat passengers must wear their own seat belt.  Both drives and passengers in the front seat can be fined $50.00 for not wearing a seatbelt. 

When a driver has only a Class – DJ Learner Permit, a Limited Class – DJ, or Class – DJ Driver License, all occupants in the car must wear a seatbelt.   

All passengers under the age of 16 must wear a seatbelt or use a child safety restraint system.   

Drivers are also responsible for making certain passengers under the age of 16 obey the law and buckle up.  Drivers can be fined between $25.00 and $100.00 for failure to do so.  Additionally, a driver receives three driver license penalty points each time they are found in violation of the law.   

While seatbelt use is not required for back seat passengers under the law, seatbelt use is still a good idea.   

Wear Your Seatbelt Every Time 

Many people buckle up only on long trips.  However, seatbelts are as important on short trips as long ones.  You can never tell when you will be in an accident – or how serious an accident may be.  Seatbelts keep people secure in their seats.  This saves lives two ways.

First, it keeps each individual passenger from being knocked around the car, and possibly being ejected, causing death.  Second, an unbuckled person can become an unguided missile, causing injuries to others in the car as they are tossed about the cab of the vehicle.   

Ejection Isn’t Safer 

The idea that ejection is safer that remaining in the car is a myth.  In fact, occupants are four times more likely to be killed if they are thrown from the vehicle.  A seatbelt reduces the likelihood someone will be thrown from the vehicle.   

Good Driving Doesn’t Always Protect Good Drivers 

Many people believe they don’t need seatbelts because they are good drivers.  Unfortunately, this provides a false sense of security.  Bad drivers cause accidents – sometimes multiple car accidents which cannot be avoided.  Other circumstances beyond the control of any driver can also contribute to accidents, such as: 

  • Bad weather 
  • Mechanical failure or 
  • A tire blowout. 

These unpredictable and often unavoidable situations can happen at any time, regardless of how close to home you are.   

O’Brien & Ford: Top Rated Injury Attorneys 

At O’Brien & Ford, we care about your safety.  All too often, we see clients who are suffering due to an unanticipated car accident.  We work hard to get our clients the money they need to heal after an accident, as well as the money they are entitled to as compensation for lost wages and medical bills.  Contact O’Brien & Ford today if you have been injured in a car accident.  We look forward to discussing your case and learning more about your injuries.  We can help.  Call today at (716) 907-7777