The Consequences of Not Wearing a Seatbelt

Feb 26, 2015 by

Car accidents are traumatic experiences with risks to severe injuries if the involved drivers and their passengers (if there are any) are not wearing a seat belt. The use of seat belt is a mandate in the US, previously a federal law that was passed on January 1, 1968. This law was intended to lessen occasions of injuries or deaths, a natural phenomenon during vehicular accidents.

The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) mentions two divisions of the seat belt law: primary, wherein traffic enforcers are authorized to issue a ticket to a driver if he/she and/or his/her passenger are/is unbuckled while driving (even with the absence of any other traffic violation), and secondary, which necessitates another citable traffic offense for an enforcement officer to ticket a driver in the event that he/she and/or a passenger are/is unbuckled.

Though originally a federal rule, the stipulations of the seat belt law is now dependent on the state that is particularly enforcing it. Other than the driver, the law also considers the age of the passenger and the specific seat where he/she is seated. Those seating at the backseat are usually not required to buckle up (after reaching a certain age. Children below the age of 7 should be protected by a seat belt all the time. There is a separate law with regard to seat belt requirements for infants and toddlers).

A seat belt, like any other car part, should be without any defect. To ensure this, the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, which took effect in December of 1998, requires the crashworthiness of seat belt assemblies. This is because a defective or poorly-manufactured seat belt (such as a seat belt buckle loosening by itself, release buttons failing to work properly, or the belt itself tearing easily) may just prove to be more harmful to its user than ensuring safety during vehicle collisions.

No amount of safety can be equaled by a seat belt that works properly and effectively. According to the website of Abel Law, if the seat belt is found defective and as the cause of injury, then the victim may have the legal right to claim compensation from the manufacturer of the defective part.

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