The statistics are clear. Vehicle occupants who fail to wear a seatbelt are much more likely to injure themselves in the event of a crash than those who do. Ensuring that children are properly restrained in an appropriate car or booster seat is another way to help ensure safety. The Highway Traffic Act requires that every person travelling in a motor vehicle wear a seat belt or use a child safety seat. The driver of a vehicle is responsible for ensuring that all children under 16 are properly restrained. If convicted of a seatbelt offence, a motorist faces a fine between $60 and $500, and two demerit points.
Not wearing a seatbelt can also affect your ability to recover compensation through the legal system if you are hurt in a crash. The law in Ontario is clear: failure to wear an available seatbelt is considered a type of “fault” for your injuries. The Courts have labelled this fault as “contributory negligence”. Contributory negligence for failing to wear an available seatbelt can reduce the amount of money you recover in a lawsuit, up to 25% regardless of how the accident occurred.
Everyone’s first thought should be on safety when it comes to seatbelt use. Given the type of work that we do at Oatley Vigmond, we know first-hand that seatbelts really work in reducing the severity of injuries. Please remember to buckle up when riding in a vehicle.