Facts About Seatbelt Use on New York Roads 

driver buckling his belt
Posted: September 22, 2022

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, motor-vehicle accidents are a leading cause of death for people younger than 55 in the United States. The state of New York estimates that about 1,100 New Yorkers die in car accidents every year, and more than 130,000 visit an emergency room after a crash.  

 One of the most basic things motorists can do to decrease the chance of death is to wear a seatbelt.  


  • According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately half of the people who died in motor vehicle accidents in 2020 weren’t wearing seatbelts. 
  • In New York, about one-third of front-seat passengers killed in motor vehicle accidents weren’t properly wearing their seatbelts. 
  • Seatbelts save roughly 15,000 lives every year across the United States. 

In New York all passengers of any age in any motor vehicle have to wear seatbelts or be seated in child-restraint devices. All motorists must identify the applicable law and follow it.  

What Counts as a Seatbelt Violation in New York? 

Motor vehicle occupants are required to wear a seatbelt or safety restraint in the state of New York. If pulled over for a seatbelt violation in New York, the driver and passengers can both be fined and the driver may face a driver’s license violation as well. This can be a penalty of up to three points on your license. 

Notably, failure to wear a seatbelt in violation of the law can also be seen as a “failure to mitigate damages” in the event of injury in a car crash. The motorist who caused the accident may attempt to argue that the failure to wear a seatbelt caused or contributed to the extent of the injuries, requiring any damages for pain and suffering to be reduced. An experienced attorney can explain how this “affirmative defense” works.  

Have You Been Hurt in a Car Accident? 

Sometimes, no matter the precautions taken, it is not possible to completely avoid the possibility of serious personal injuries on New York roads. Thus, even if you follow the rules of the road and wear a seatbelt, it is not possible to ensure wellbeing because other drivers may fail to follow the rules of the road, foreseeably endangering others. If you’ve been injured in a New York car accident, and are looking for an experienced personal injury lawyer, the attorneys at William Mattar, P.C. may be able to help.  Contact us 24/7 online or by calling (844) 444-4444.

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