Wearing your seatbelt in Florida became a primary offense with The Dori Slosberg and Katie Marchetti Safety Belt Law, effective June 30, 2009. The law requires all drivers, all front-seat passengers, and all passengers under 18 to fasten their safety belts.
You don’t want to find yourself involved in a potentially damaging personal injury claim, especially if you haven’t fastened your seatbelt. If you have been injured in a car accident, or have any other type of legal claim, contact a Florida auto accident attorney immediately for help.
The Importance of Wearing Your Seatbelt in Florida and Elsewhere
Seatbelts save lives, but only if worn correctly every time you are in a motor vehicle. In a crash, your seatbelt:
- Keeps you from being ejected from the vehicle,
- Keeps you from being thrown against other passengers, the steering wheel or the windshield, and
- Keeps you behind the wheel where you can control the vehicle.
Airbags are no substitute for seatbelts. Wear your seatbelt secured around your hips and wear your shoulder belt across your chest. The seatbelt will not work if it is improperly adjusted.
On average, in Florida, 41 percent of fatalities involved crashes where seatbelt use was required but not worn. To make the message take, parents must model safe driving habits for their children. Teach your kids that they are never too old, too cool, or too busy to buckle up. They are watching you.
No matter how short the trip, seatbelts should always be worn. Studies have shown that the majority of accidents occur close to home. That click reduces your risk of being injured or killed in a crash by almost 50 percent.
The Florida Highway Patrol and law enforcement across the state participate in the national enforcement campaign, “Click it or Ticket,” to encourage safety belt use.
Why Don’t People Wear Seatbelts?
After all, it only takes a few seconds. The primary excuses drivers give for failing to wear seatbelts include:
- They are only driving short distances.
- More than half said that they simply forget on occasion.
- For those who never wear a seatbelt, the most commonly-cited reason is that seatbelts are uncomfortable.
- Being in a hurry and not having time to buckle up.
- Light traffic on the roads.
- Not wanting to get clothing wrinkled (really?)
- Resentment at being told what to do. Hey, no one wants to pay taxes either, right?
- Knowing someone who died in a crash while wearing a seatbelt.
- Resentment at government interference in personal behavior.
- Never having gotten used to seatbelts.
- The belief that with airbags, seatbelts are redundant.
It is quick, easy, and important to Click It or Ticket. There are no real reasons not to, including some that are downright silly. Contact a Florida auto accident attorney to provide you with valuable information and help you if you’ve been involved in an accident.