Study: New Yorkers defy seatbelt law

May 14, 2008 11:29:16 AM PDT
Despite the seatbelt law, many New York City drivers still don't buckle up. A Hunter College study finds that 15 percent of the city's drivers don't wear seatbelts. When the statistics are expanded to include cabbies, the number of unbuckled drivers jumps to 20 percent.

Cabbies are not required by law to wear seatbelts - and only 44 percent of the men among them do. Almost twice as many female cabbies buckle up.

In the overall population, women are also more likely to buckle up - and they influence male drivers to do so as well.

The study finds smokers also are less likely to wear seatbelts.

Hunter sociology professor Peter Tuckel and his students observed more than 3,000 drivers over three weeks in April at 56 intersections with traffic lights.