Georgia Moves Closer to Requiring Seatbelts for Backseat Passengers

The state of Georgia is moving closer to requiring ALL persons in a car to wear seatbelts while the car is in motion, including back seat passengers.

Currently, Georgia does not require back seat passengers to buckle up while riding in a motor vehicle. Thirty other states have laws that require back seat passengers to wear their seatbelts. Not wearing a seatbelts can place back seat passengers at tremendous risk of injury, or even death, in an accident.

The Georgia Senate Passenger Vehicle Seat Belt Safety Study Committee was created recently to study the consequences of failure to wear seatbelts by back seat passengers. The Committee was created by Senator Tonya Anderson, D-Lithonia, who calls this failure to require back seat passengers to buckle up a serious safety issue.  Requiring back seat passengers to buckle up can help reduce the number fatalities in car accidents.

Recently, the Senate committee took comments from Georgia highway safety officials.  These officials supported laws that would require back seat passengers to also wear seatbelts while riding in a motor vehicle.  Currently, according to the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, Georgia ranks in the top 5 in the country in traffic accident fatalities. At least 50 percent of all car accident fatalities that occur in the state every year occur as a result of the victim’s failure to wear a seatbelt.  Car insurance premiums are also typically higher when there are no laws that require all passengers in a motor vehicle to buckle up.

Contrary to popular belief, travelling in the back seat is not safer. Unfortunately, far too many back seat passengers have the misconception that they are safer in the back seat in the event of a collision, and do not have to be buckled in. Nothing could be further from the truth. In the event of an accident, unbuckled passengers are likely to be thrown against the interior of the vehicle and even against other occupants, causing serious or even fatal injuries not just to themselves, but also to other occupants of the car.  Back seat passengers are also likely to be thrown out the back windshield or side windows if they are not safely secured by a seatbelt.

The existence of other safety equipment in cars like airbags also makes persons feel very complacent about any risk of harm. Airbags and other safety systems are meant to be used in conjunction with seat belts. Seatbelts are the cheapest and single most important piece of safety equipment in your car, and all passengers in your car must be buckled in for their own safety and precaution.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident, talk to a car accident lawyer in Atlanta.  You may qualify for damages that include medical costs, lost income, and pain and suffering in addition to other damages.  Consulting with a car accident attorney will help you not only navigate the insurance claims process, but also help you maximize the compensation you receive to recover for the injuries you have suffered as a result of someone else’s negligence.


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