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New seat belt law could prevent spinal cord injuries

Certain injuries can result in life-long trauma. The people who suffer them may require extensive care that they may have to rely on someone else to provide. Spinal cord injuries can be particularly devastating as they can impede a person's mobility; however, there are certain safety measures that can help prevent them. New York lawmakers recently passed legislation that would mandate seat belt use in cases where it previously wasn't required. If the Governor signs it, it will become law, and supporters hope it could save lives and reduce serious injury.

The current law doesn't require all passengers to wear a seat belt when they ride the backseat of a car. Studies show that those who don't wear a safety belt in the backseat of a car are two times more likely to die in a car crash and eight times more likely to suffer a serious injury, such as a spinal cord injury. If this law passes, passengers aged 16 and older will now be required to use a seat belt in the back seat of a car. Children under 16 are already required to wear a seat belt anywhere they may sit in a vehicle.

The offense will be punishable by a $50 fine. That is the same amount used to fine those who fail to use a seat belt while riding in the front seat of a car. Advocates hope that the new law will protect vulnerable young people. Statistics indicate teens and young adults aged 16 to 24 are the least likely to use a seat belt despite being the most likely to die in a car crash. 

Though this law is a step in the right direction, many people in New York will still suffer spinal cord injuries as a result of a car accident. Those who do may want to consider filing a personal injury claim against any and all parties deemed responsible for the crash. An attorney with extensive experience in personal injury law can serve as an invaluable resource.

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