Seatbelts and Car Accidents

Injury Attorneys Serving New Hampshire & Vermont

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 Van Dorn, Curtiss, Rousseau & Ross, PLLC 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 Vermont

Everyone in the vehicle, including backseat passengers and children, must wear seat belts properly. Regardless of age or where they are sitting in the vehicle, all passengers must wear a seat belt while the vehicle is in use. One exception to this rule is for children under the age of one or under twenty pounds. These children must be in a car seat in a rear-facing position. Children who are between one and eight years old and weigh more than twenty pounds should be in a child passenger restraining system such as a car seat or booster seat.

Vermont has 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.

Fines for seatbelt violations in Vermont are as follows:

  • First violation: $25
  • Second violation: $50
  • Third and subsequent violations: $100

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. Fines for these violations are the same as above, and the law applies only to the front seat of the car.

A Dangerous Decision

Even when not wearing your seatbelt is legal, it is still unwise. A skilled and capable car accident lawyer like the ones at Van Dorn, Curtiss, Rousseau & Ross, PLLC 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 Van Dorn, Curtiss, Rousseau & Ross, PLLC online or dial (866) 933-6115 for a free consultation.


Client Testimonials

  • Van Dorn, Curtiss, Rousseau & Ross, PLLC A+, 5 star experience, made me feel like I was a priority.
  • Van Dorn, Curtiss, Rousseau & Ross, PLLC I was quite pleased with the settlement Robin negotiated on my behalf.
  • Van Dorn, Curtiss, Rousseau & Ross, PLLC Without Ed’s help I don’t know where I’d be today - he fought for me every step of the way.
  • Van Dorn, Curtiss, Rousseau & Ross, PLLC Ed and his firm truly go the extra mile.
  • Van Dorn, Curtiss, Rousseau & Ross, PLLC He took the time to get to know us, always let us know what was going on, hung in there for us.
  • Van Dorn, Curtiss, Rousseau & Ross, PLLC Robin’s efforts truly helped me get my life back on track.
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