Seat belts are the most effective safety feature ever invented and have helped save thousands of lives. Sadly, one in five Americans fail to regularly wear a seat belt when driving or riding in a motor vehicle.
Florida law requires drivers and passengers to fasten their safety belts. (Ch. 316.614, Florida Statutes)
|Buckle up every time you get in your vehicle.
- Do it to protect yourself and others.
- Do it to avoid a serious dent in your wallet ” a ticket could be costly.
While a majority of Floridians wear safety belts, those who don’t cost the state thousands of dollars in medical costs. Of course, you can’t put a price tag on the valuable lives lost.
Florida has had a safety belt law since 1986, but officers could only ticket unbuckled drivers when they stopped them for other violations. The new primary law allows officers to stop motorists for not wearing safety belts.
Florida law requires the use of safety belts for all drivers and passengers in all motorized vehicles, except:
- Persons who have a doctor-certified medical condition for which the use of a safety belt may be inappropriate or dangerous
- Employees of a newspaper home delivery service or a solid waste /recyclable collection service working designated routes
- Persons traveling in the living quarters of a recreational vehicle or a space within a truck body primarily intended for merchandise or property
- Persons traveling in vehicles that are not required to be equipped with safety belts under federal law
Seat Belts and Enforcement Save Lives
- In 2012 seat belts saved an estimated 12,174 people from dying. From 2008 “ 2012 seat belts saved nearly 63,000 lives.
- In 2012, 3,031 additional lives could have been saved if all unrestrained passenger vehicle occupants 5 and older involved in fatal crashes had worn their seat belts.
- Cops aren’t just cracking down for the fun of it. Wearing a seat belt is a serious issue.
For the first time in five years, fatalities for unrestrained passenger vehicle occupants have gone up. In 2012, there were 10,335 unbuckled passenger vehicle occupants who died. Because of these fatalities, cops are stepping up enforcement and cracking down on those who don’t wear their seat belts.
Too Many Motorists Are Dying
- Young adults are dying at a disproportionate rate because they are not wearing their seat belts. Sixty-two percent of 18- to 34-year-old passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes were not wearing their seat belts.
- Those who drive and ride in pickup trucks may think that their large vehicle will protect them more than other vehicles in a crash. This false sense of security may cause them to not wear their seat belts, but the stats show that this bravado is misplaced. Sixty-six percent of pickup truck occupants who were killed were not buckled up. That’s compared to 45 percent of car occupants who were killed while not wearing their seat belts.
- More men than women die every year in motor vehicle traffic crashes. In 2012, 65 percent of the 21,667 passenger vehicle occupants killed were men. Men also wore their seat belts less than women in fatal crashes “ 56 percent of men were unrestrained, compared to 43 percent for women.
Wherever you are this holiday weekend, make sure to buckle up before you hit the road. And of course if there are kids in the car, be sure they are properly buckled, too.
Photo Credit: here