Nusbaum, Stein, Goldstein, Bronstein & Kron, A Professional Corporation
We Are Here To Help. Se Habla Español

How effective are seat belts?

You know you should buckle up, but do you always do it? If not, is it because you doubt they really keep you safe.

New Jersey's "click it or ticket" law states allows police to pull you over and issue a traffic ticket for failing to wear your seat belt. While the legislation has raised compliance, has it been effective in preventing fatalities? Is a seat belt necessary in a car with air bags?

Yes, seat belts do save lives

There's always some naysayer who insists that seat belts don't really work or that seat belts actually cause more harm than good. Decades of data prove this is just not true:

  • Drivers and passengers who are unrestrained have higher death rates than those who wear seat belts. On average, 132 New Jersey residents die each year because they didn't buckle up.
  • Of all U.S. traffic deaths in 2016, 48 percent were not wearing a seat belt. Some of those people would have died no matter what, but an estimated 2,456 Americans would still be alive if they had been buckled in.
  • Back seat too: In fact, rear passengers can reduce their risk of fatality by 60 percent by using their seat belts.
  • Air bags alone are not sufficient to protect you. In fact, an air bag can injury or kill you if you are not wearing a seat belt. Air bags combined with seat belts provide the greatest protection.
  • And the old adage is true: over half of all car accidents occur within 5 miles of home. Always wear a seat belt, even for short trips on familiar streets.

Over 90 percent of Americans regularly buckle up, but it's not good enough. It means that 27 million people are not buckling up.

Seat belts protect you legally, too

Using your seat belt not only can save your life but can also work in your favor in an insurance claim against another driver. New Jersey is a comparative negligence state, meaning that you can only pursue compensation from another driver if he or she was more at fault for the accident than you were. Failure to wear a seat belt can be considered negligence because it increases one's risk of serious injuries in a crash. It could negate your ability to sue or reduce your damages.

In other words: An accident victim who is not wearing a seatbelt could end up with (a) worse injuries and (b) less compensation.

The law applies to pets, too

New Jersey requires pets to be in restraints as well. Driving with a furry friend may be fun for both the owner and pet, but loose animals are a danger in an accident. The force from the collision can project them inside a vehicle or eject them, causing injury to others as well as themselves.

Unrestrained pets can also be a distraction to drivers or make unpredictable movements that cause accidents, such as jumping into the driver's lap, hitting a control or going out the window. It is best for everyone if four-legged family members have their own seat belts or carriers for car trips.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

How Can We Help You?

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Email Us For A Response

Nusbaum Stein
Town Centre Building
66 Sunset Strip
Suite 205
Succasunna, NJ 07876

Toll Free: 866-397-5451
Phone: 973-245-9780
Fax: 973-584-8747
Succasunna Law Office Map

Review Us