Robert A. Solomon, P.C.
Two Offices Serving
New York and New Jersey

How can you get children to wear their seat belts?

As a parent, it's likely that you've had to argue with your child at some point about the use of safety belts. Some children don't like feeling strapped into a vehicle, and teens can find them restrictive. The problem is that these seat belts are the only thing preventing a person being thrown from a vehicle during an accident, so if you're caught allowing your child to ride without a belt, you can get into serious trouble with the law.

Normally, if you get into an accident that is someone else's fault and everyone is following the law in your vehicle, you won't be held accountable for much, if any, of the accident. However, if your child isn't strapped in and is hurt worse than if he or she had been properly restrained, then you could be held partially responsible for those injuries. Your attorney could have to fight to lessen your overall responsibility for the crash, which could cost you some of the compensation you deserve.

There are five real issues teens and tweens struggle with in vehicles. First, discomfort can be a driving factor. If the belt is cutting into your child's neck or shoulder, you should consider using a child's booster seat, adjusting the belt, or using another kind of approved device to adjust the belt's level.

Some children get distracted and want to get out of their seats during the drive. This shouldn't be allowed at any point. You can't assume that your child is buckled into a seat, either; you should always check to make sure the buckle is in correctly.

There is a tween passenger injured once every eight minutes in car crashes, and no one wants that person to be your child. Focus on making seat belts mandatory and don't give up until your children comply. It could save their lives.

Source: Parents Central, "Tween Seat Belt Safety—It’s Non-Negotiable," accessed Sep. 22, 2015

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