If you drive while pregnant, you have the safety of two people to consider. While seat belts can play a major role in keeping you safe, wearing one when your belly is about to hit the steering wheel may feel uncomfortable. You may even worry that the strapping could harm your baby if you are thrown forward suddenly because you need to brake or someone rear-ends your vehicle.
Whatever your personal opinion, wearing a seat belt has been a legal requirement for anyone in a car in New York since 2020. So it applies whether you are driving, sitting in the passenger seat, or the rear. If the police catch you without one on, they will fine you.
Besides the legal aspect, you and your baby are more likely to survive a crash with minimal injuries if you do have your belt on than if not. Being alive with some seat belt bruising is preferable to flying through the windscreen because you had taken it off.
How should you wear the belt?
The state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) says you should “Make sure the lap belt is low on your hips, under your abdomen, and the shoulder belt is resting closely and comfortably across your chest and shoulder.”
If you are injured in a crash, getting the compensation you need may be challenging. Insurers are always looking for ways to reduce what they pay. If you were not wearing a seat belt, they might argue that some of your injuries are your fault. Whatever your situation, having help to fight for the total amount you need will be crucial.