While driving on Long Island, it is a common sight to see the phrase “Click It or Ticket” sprawled out on digital highway signs over Long Island’s busiest roads. The campaign created by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is aimed at preventing fatal motor vehicle accidents by alerting drivers and passengers of the importance of wearing seatbelts.
According to the campaign, in 2016, 48% of the people involved in fatal car accidents were not wearing seatbelts. 60% of young adults that were killed in crashes in 2016 were not wearing their seatbelts at the time of impact. Many fatalities could be prevented if the driver and passengers just wore seatbelts.
More recently, an accident which occurred on August 7, 2018, in Riverhead, New York, was deemed a “mass casualty,” mainly because the victims were not wearing seatbelts. The accident involved a Jeep Wrangler and a Dodge Charger at the intersection near the entrance to Splish Splash Waterpark. It has been reported that a Jeep, carrying eight people in total, collided with a Dodge Charger while trying to make a left turn into the waterpark. Two children that occupied the Jeep were ejected from the back of the vehicle and subsequently ran over by the Jeep, as it spun out of control after the impact. The mother of the injured children held her ten-month-old child in her lap, who was unrestrained by a safety device or car seat.
The two children ejected from the vehicle were airlifted to Stony Brook University Hospital and four other occupants of the Jeep were taken to the same hospital and treated for their injuries. Two other passengers in the Jeep were taken to Peconic Bay Medical Center in Riverhead, as well as the driver of the Dodge, where they were treated for their injuries. Police stated that none of the injuries sustained by the individuals were life-threatening.
In total, nine people were injured because of this accident. The driver of the Jeep has been issued a slew of tickets, including those for not having any of his three children restrained by seat belts or a baby car seat. He also received a ticket for a bald tire and other charges may be pending.
This accident should emphasize the importance of wearing seat belts while occupying a moving vehicle. Thankfully, there were no fatalities because of the accident, however, the accident should serve as a lesson for drivers all around the country. Seat belts are life-saving safety features that should be utilized by every occupant of the vehicle, regardless of age and where the individual is sitting.
Car accidents can often be tragic and traumatizing. If you or a loved one were involved in a car accident and sustained injuries because of the negligence of another, it is important to call an experienced Long Island personal injury attorney who can advise you of your legal rights and remedies. The attorneys at Levine & Slavit, PLLC have over 60 years of experience representing clients in personal injury actions, including Long Island motor vehicle accidents. With law offices conveniently located in Long Island and New York City, Levine & Slavit, PLLC represents clients throughout Nassau County and Suffolk County as well as Manhattan, Staten Island, the Bronx, Brooklyn, and Queens. For more information or to schedule a consultation, call (888)-LAW-8088.