Back Seat Seatbelts: Not a Florida Requirement
We have many freedoms in the United States. There are an unlimited number of things we are allowed to do. Most of us realize that just because we can do a thing, it doesn’t mean it is good for us to do it. Such is the case when it comes to adults wearing back seat seatbelts in Florida. There is no law that says back seat passengers over the age of 18 must wear their seat belts. On the other hand, there is plenty of evidence that says they should.
Many drivers have experienced the alarm and frustration of slamming on the brakes in traffic and everything that isn’t secured goes flying. Whether it’s the birthday cake you just picked up, the cup of coffee that’s a bit too large for the cup holder, or Fido, the family beagle, when you have to hit the brakes hard, things go flying.
Unbuckled back seat passengers also going flying when the vehicle comes to a sudden stop. Many adults feel it is not necessary to buckle up when riding in the back seat. There is a myth that the back seat is the safest place in a car. This is largely due to the fact that kids are considered safer in the back. But remember, kids must be buckled in.
In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, nearly 1,000 deaths occurred in 2015 as a result of passengers not wearing back seat seatbelts. The findings of research conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety revealed that unrestrained back seat passengers are eight times more likely to be killed or injured in an accident as compared to those who use their back seat seatbelts.
Back Seat Seatbelts Save Lives, Too
Front seat passengers across the nation are used to buckling up by now. Tens of thousands of lives have been saved as a result of seatbelt laws. An untold number of serious injuries have been prevented as a result of observance of these laws, too. Twenty-nine states have seat belt laws that cover backseat passengers. Florida is not one of them. Our state is only one of 22 states that do not have a law that covers back seat seatbelts.
The bottom line is that passengers in the backseat should buckle-up. Accidents happen, and even if the vehicle does not crash into anything, a hard stop can cause serious injury to passengers that are not restrained. Protect yourself and your passengers by making sure that everyone in the vehicle is using seatbelts.
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