Letter To The Editor: Please Wear Your Seatbelt

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<p>Sandy Galef</p>

Sandy Galef

Photo Credit: Contributed

As Labor Day approaches, people find themselves wrapping up the summer by

traveling with their families. In light of that, I would like to stress how

important it is to remain safe during these last few days of travel by

buckling up.

Recent studies by Dr. Masao Ichikawa, of Tokyo University have shown that

unbelted back seat passengers pose the biggest threat to passengers in the

front seats. In fact, the risks of dying increase fivefold for front

passengers if the back passengers are not buckled in a collision. This risk

is even greater if the collision is head on, as the risks of dying are

increased six or seven times. According to Ichikawa's studies, approximately

80 percent of deaths of belted front seat occupants could have been

prevented if the back seat passengers were wearing seatbelts.

I am writing to you about this because currently, seatbelts in New York are

required for front seat passengers and children in the back seats of cars,

but are not required for adults seated in the back seats. While there have

been movements encouraging seatbelt usage in past years, seatbelts are used

20% less in back seats than they are in front seats. According to a study,

adults aged 35 to 54 are the least likely to wear seatbelts while occupying

the back seat of a car. In one of my recent surveys, out of the 1,226 people

who responded, 70.8% of them were in favor of a law that would require all

passengers in the front and back seats to buckle-up. Similar laws are in

place in 29 other states. Due to the severe danger and risk that unbelted

passengers have on front seat passengers, I encourage people to support such

legislation in order to make traveling safer for everyone.

Regardless, the decision to wear a seatbelt extends far beyond the safety of

oneself. So buckle up!

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