Late one night a little over year ago, a BMW sailed off the road in Saratoga County and hit a fire hydrant and a tree. Three of the car’s occupants walked away — and one suffred a back injury that left her a paragalegic. Now, the driver is on trial facing charges that include DWI, vehicular assault, and reckless driving.
Killing or injuring a friend or family member in an accident is not uncommon, and it adds another layer of tragedy to a terrible, life changing event.
But here’s the thing: According to a story in the Daily Gazette, the victim testified that she was in the back eat and not wearing a seat belt.
In New York, the law does not require backseat passengers to wear a seat belt, but regardless of the law, my opinion on this is black and white: If you don’t wear a seat belt in the backseat, you’re a moron. Driving? Then it’s your responsibility make all the passengers wear their seat belts. If they won’t wear it, tell them they can get out and walk.
Unrestrained passengers are more likely to be klilled or injured in an accident — and they’re also more likely to injure you as they bounce around your car.
No, sometimes a seat belt won’t help, but is that a gamble you’re willing to take? If so, ride with someone else.