Car accidents are devastating under the best of circumstances: repair and lawyer bills pile up, you miss work and your life is tremendously inconvenienced. If you’ve suffered one of the common car accident injuries, you can add pain and suffering, emotional distress and medical expenses to the tally.
The car accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Van Dorn & Curtiss have spent more than 30 years handling these cases in New Hampshire and Vermont, and we’ve seen too many clients suffer severe injuries because of a failure to simply wear a seatbelt. As of 2011, the New Hampshire Highway Safety Agency estimated that approximately 75 percent of New Hampshire residents were buckling up. If more people would take this one simple step, car accidents would prove less crippling and fatal than they are today.
Seatbelt Laws in New Hampshire and Vermont
New Hampshire and Vermont have different approaches to seatbelt statutes, and people driving between the two states should be aware of these differences.
Vermont has a law that is something of a hybrid between “primary” and “secondary” seatbelt laws. In Vermont, if a driver fails to wear his or her seatbelt, it’s a secondary offense, which means an officer can only ticket you for the offense if he observes another, citable offense first. The same is also true for passengers over the age of 18. By contrast, for passengers under 18, failing to wear a seatbelt is a primary offense, which means an officer can ticket you for the seatbelt alone. The maximum fine for a first offense is $25, and the law applies only to the front seat of the car.
New Hampshire has no seatbelt law whatsoever for adults, whether they’re drivers or passengers. It does have a primary seatbelt law for drivers and passengers under the age of 18.
A Dangerous Decision
Even when not wearing your seatbelt is legal, however, it is still unwise. A skilled and capable car accident lawyer like the ones at Van Dorn & Curtiss will likely be able to maximize your compensation for your medical expenses if the other driver is at fault, but is that really worth the pain and suffering that comes from a personal injury? Failure to wear a seatbelt puts you at greater risk of several common car accident injuries, including:
Don’t take the risk. Buckle up, even if it’s not the law.
If you or a loved one has been hurt in a car accident in New Hampshire or Vermont communities such as Concord, Manchester, or Nashua, please contact The Law Offices of Van Dorn & Curtiss online or dial (866) 933-6115 for a free consultation.