We encourage all motor vehicle drivers, particularly teen drivers and passengers, to wear their seat belts at our law firm. Risks of not wearing a seat belt included an increased chance of injury and death in a car accident. According to TeenDriverSource.org, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to making driving safer for teenagers, 1,603 young adults died in crashes when they were not wearing their seat belts in 2019.
This article will articulate how wearing a seat belt could save your life.
Some Facts About Teen Driving and Seat Belt Usage
New York is the best state for teen drivers, but motor vehicle wrecks are the leading cause of death in teenagers aged 16 to 19. Moreover, 15- to 24-year-olds are just 14% of the population, but the auto accidents they cause result in nearly one-third of all costs related to car accidents.
Studies conclusively show that wearing a seat belt is the most reliable method of saving your life and reducing your injuries. Wearing a seat belt protects you as a driver or passenger by:
- Preventing you from being ejected—only 1% of occupants wearing a seatbelt are ejected, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)
- Preventing you from being thrown around against the hard interior surfaces of the vehicle and other people in the car
- Distributing the crash forces more evenly across your body, helping prevent trauma to weaker body parts.
The first of these is the most crucial. If you are ejected through the windshield, you are more likely to lose your life. Your passage through the glass might be fatal in and of itself. But, depending on your speed, you could be thrown forward past the hood.
You might hit a tree or the asphalt or another car, or who knows what else. It’s even possible for you to be crushed by your own car as it rolls and grinds and bounces post-impact.
Who Usually Doesn’t Wear a Seat Belt and why?
However, millions of drivers and passengers make the bad choice to not wear their seat belts. Various statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show:
- Young adults (18-34) are less likely to wear seat belts.
- Men are less likely than women to wear seat belts.
- Every year, more than half of teen drivers killed in crashes were not wearing a seat belt.
Some common excuses for teens not wearing a seat belt are:
- “They are uncomfortable.”
- “They wrinkle my clothes.”
- “I was just going around the corner.”
- “I forgot.”
- “I didn’t understand why it was important.”
- “I didn’t want to be lame in front of my friends.”
These excuses are not good enough, especially when your life could be on the line. In 2019, seat belts saved an estimated 15,000 lives nationwide. Be a safe driver. Be part of the “lives saved” statistic rather than the “those lost.” If not for yourself, wear your seat belt for your family, friends, and loved ones.
If You were in a Car Accident – Whether You were Wearing a Seatbelt or not
If you were hurt in a car accident, you could seek compensation for your injuries and other related losses. Usually, your own insurance would cover some of your damages. However, your losses cost you more than policy limits. You may be able to pursue a claim with the other party’s insurer.
Some available forms of compensation are:
- Past and projected medical bills
- Lost income
- Future lost earning capacity
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
If you lost your loved one in a car accident, you could pursue a wrongful death action. You can seek damages for your loved one’s funeral, end-of-life care costs, and your loss of services or financial support.
How Long You Have to Take Legal Action Following a Car Crash in New York
Our team must adhere to certain timelines if we find that submitting a personal injury lawsuit is the most appropriate route to compensation for you. According to CVP § 214, most injury claimants have three years to file. EPT § 5-4.1 dictates that you generally have two years to take action if you file a wrongful death lawsuit.
There may be exceptions to these laws. For example, if a minor was involved in the crash, the deadline might be extended. Still, it is best to get started on your case as soon as possible. Waiting too long to file could prompt the state to throw your case out of court.
Get Help From Our Long Island Car Accident Lawyers Today
Do you need to know more about the risks of not wearing a seat belt? Have you been injured in a motor vehicle crash? Allow a Long Island personal injury attorney at our firm to advocate for you and tell you more about your options for compensation.
Contact the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP at (516) 358-6900. We offer no-cost, no-obligation consultations and are available 24/7. Call for immediate help today.
For a free legal consultation, call 516-358-6900