A person is holding the seat belt of their car.

Car Wreck, No Seat Belt?

Wearing a seat belt is simple yet crucial when driving a vehicle. It is one of the first things taught in driving school. Yet, many people tend to overlook this part of training. Whether you are a driver or a passenger, wearing a seat belt is essential- even if you’re in the backseat of the car. 

So, what happens when you get into a car accident without a seat belt?

Studies have shown that wearing a seat belt reduces the chance of car accident injuries by a whopping 45%. Wearing a seat belt saves lives and allows you to claim insurance if you sustain injuries during the accident. 

Common Causes of Car Accidents

Car accidents are very common. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has released statistics showing that almost 47 percent of people who die in road accidents did not have seat belts on at the time of the accident.

Car accidents can be major or minor, depending on the impact of the collision. Some of the causes of road accidents include:

Drunk Driving

Drunk driving is one of the most common causes of road accidents. Most accidents involved by drunk drivers have major repercussions on both parties. It is therefore stressed that you should not drink and drive. If you go out drinking, please have a designated driver or order a cab home. Even if you don’t plan on getting drunk, arrange a ride ahead of time in case you wind up drinking too much. 

Driver Negligence

Texting while driving or not paying attention to street lights and road rules could lead to road accidents. The driver is often distracted and lacks concentration, causing them to ignore simple traffic rules that could lead to major repercussions. 

A driver is advised to have all hands on deck and only concentrate on the road. All other items can wait until you get to your destination.

Unroadworthy Vehicles

Unroadworthy cars can be old cars that lack maintenance, cars with failing brakes, or cars without insurance. What happens when you need to stop, but your brakes suddenly fail? An accident that could harm the driver and passengers they are carrying or any other car they hit.

Poor Weather

You cannot control the weather; even weather forecasts sometimes must be corrected. Wet conditions lead to slippery roads that cause cars to skid, causing accidents. Many states advise against traveling in such conditions, especially when it is snowing, for the safety of people.


It sounds cliche, but you have all heard the phrase, speed kills, which is a fact. Some people live for speed, and they are thrill seekers who look for all avenues to get an adrenaline rush. Speeding distracts you from cars around you as you only concentrate on the road; cars come in from the sides.

Aggressive Driving

Some drivers ignore all rules; they overtake recklessly and bully cars out of the road to prove a point. These drivers are called road bullies; they assert their dominance on the roads and can easily cause road accidents.

Teenage Drivers

All countries have an age limit on when people start driving. The age restrictions are dependent on many factors, like maturity. Yes, you might be a good driver, but you need to be more mentally ready to handle tough road situations that require fast and logical thinking.

Many accidents that involve teenage drivers happen because they make panicked decisions without properly thinking them through, causing accidents.

Impact of Not Wearing a Seat Belt in a Road Accident

Unfortunately, you have been involved in one of the causes of the road accidents above, and you have not worn your belt. The impact of your injuries depends on the magnitude of the collision. Some road accidents have minor repercussions, others major, including surgery, and others are fatal. Below are some impacts caused for not wearing a seat belt:

Brain Injuries

The force of two cars crashing into others can lead to your head hitting the dashboard extremely hard, assuming you have no seat belt. The impact can lead to brain injuries that require urgent medical attention.


Failure to wear a seat belt during a car crash can lead to paralysis. The impact can injure your spinal cord, described as the nerve center. Injury of the spinal cord leads to paralysis; depending on the nerve that is hit the most, you could have leg paralysis or hand paralysis.

Surgery and Amputations

Surgery can be scary, especially for people who have never had it. The thought of being put to sleep and cut open is extremely daunting. When injured, sometimes surgery is necessary if medications alone cannot heal.

The next option is amputation if a part cannot be fixed through medication or corrective and constructive surgery. Amputation saves the lives of people who are at risk of further infection. However, they will have to live without an arm or a leg for the rest of their lives.

Broken Limbs

The most common injury in a road accident is broken bones. You might have to wear neck braces for an injured neck or wear casts for several weeks to correct the bones.

Internal Bleeding

Your injury might not be seen but felt; this could mean you have serious internal injuries. Several tests must be conducted to locate the injured area, and you will be scheduled for surgery to correct the area before further damage.

Dental Complications

Hitting your head on the dashboard could lead to broken teeth or injured gums that require the attention of a dental specialist. Many funds go into repairing teeth; you can fix damaged teeth with insurance.

Road accidents are common, and you cannot control the driver; you can, however, control the injuries you sustain by wearing a seat belt. You have to ask whether not wearing a seatbelt affects insurance claims.

Seatbelts and Insurance Claim

You have gotten into a car accident without a seat belt; what will happen to your insurance claim?

Unfortunately, not wearing a seat belt during a car accident has some impact on your insurance claim, even if the car accident was not your fault.

So to answer the question, not wearing a seatbelt affects insurance claims, yes, it does. Lack of seatbelt during the accident affects your claim in filing a case against the driver and the number of reparations you will get.

Insurance claims for car accidents without a seatbelt are different in different states. An insurance claim depends on the state you are in during the accident.

Contact Stoy Law Group

A vehicle accident without a seat belt is treated as a crime, more specifically, a misdemeanor. However, it is considered a light crime in court, and depending on what state you are currently in, you have a right to press charges to claim insurance money, especially if you sustained injuries from the accident.

We at Warriors for Justice are ready to win the case for you. We specialize in personal injury cases and are equipped with car accident and personal injury lawyers. Our team will guide you on the proper course of action after you find yourself in a car accident without a seat belt and wonder whether not wearing a seatbelt affects insurance claims.