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Buckling up on back seat safety: AAA urges NYS legislators to pass rear seat belt law


Tue, Jun 18th 2019 12:10 pm

Rear seat occupants who fail to buckle up are three times more likely to be killed, according to AAA New York State. In 2017, 34 unbelted rear seat occupants ages 16-plus were killed and 2,600 were injured. This accounts for one injury every three hours across New York state.

Current New York state law only requires children younger than 16 to be restrained in the back seat of a motor vehicle. AAA believes that it is counterintuitive that, at the age when children are most vulnerable, the requirement to wear a seat belt is lifted – and therefore urges New York state legislators to approve the lifesaving rear seat belt requirement in this year’s budget. It has passed the New York State Senate, and still needs to pass the New York State Assembly before it moves to the desk of Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

AAA New York state’s 2016 report, “Buckle Down on Safety,” found teens ages 16-plus were least likely to wear their seat belt and were more likely to be killed or injured than any other age group.

An unbelted rear passenger is:

  • 3 times more likely to be killed
  • 8 times more likely to be seriously injured
  • 2 times more likely to kill a front-seat occupant by becoming a projectile

A recent survey conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found 40% of all survey participants stated they do not buckle up because there is no law requiring it, and 60% of participants stated a law would convince them to wear a seat belt in the back seat.

The sooner this vital measure becomes law, the sooner lives can be saved, and injuries prevented.

As upstate New York’s largest member services organization, AAA Western and Central New York provides more than 880,000 members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1902, AAA has been a leading advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. Visit AAA at www.AAA.com.

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