SEAT BELT QUESTIONS PART 2: FLORIDA’S SEATBELT LAW
It is well known that Florida has a seatbelt law. But what does “Florida’s Safety Belt Law” require? Here are some common questions:
Are Adults Riding in the Front Seat of a Car Required to Wear a Seat Belt?
Florida’s Safety Belt Law mandates that the driver of the vehicle and any passengers seated in the front of the vehicle must wear a seat belt. Vehicles include cars, vans, and pickup trucks. The only exceptions to this rule are as follows:
- Passengers or drivers whom have a disability that keeps them from wearing the belt,
- Drivers who are employed in either delivering newspapers or those who work in waste and recycling services,
- Drivers and front seat passengers in antique cars (for more info, read this article).
If I Am Riding in the Back Seat of a Car Do I Have to Wear a Seat Belt?
The short answer to this question is: No – as long as you are 18 years of age or older. However, here is some food for thought. With recent advancements in technology, and the concentrated efforts to make cars safer for front seat passengers, studies have found that it is now more dangerous for adults to ride in the backseat of a car then the front. Think about it: cars are equipped with driver and front passenger side airbags, most cars signal to th
e front seat passengers if they do not have their seatbelts buckled, and nearly all of the states have laws requiring front seat passengers and drivers to be wearing seatbelts.
How Does the Safety Belt Law Apply to Children?
All passengers under 18 years of age must wear a seat belt regardless of where they are sitting in a car. Children three years of age and below are required to ride in a federally approved child-restraint seat, while children between four and five years old may be buckled in either a child restraint seat or safety belt. Authorities recommend that regardless of their age, children under 4 feet 9 inches tall should use a booster seat.
Car crashes are the leading cause of death for children under the age of 13. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, child safety seats have been found “to reduce fatal injury by 71 percent for infants (less than 1 year old) and by 54 percent for toddlers (1 to 4 years old) in passenger cars.”
Does the Safety Belt Law Apply to All Vehicles?
Certain types of vehicles are exempt from Florida’s seatbelt law: motorcycles, farm equipment, buses, and trucks weighing over 26,000 pounds. Additionally, Florida’s seat belt law applies only to cars made since 1968. If your classic car was manufactured before that date, then the Florida Safety Belt Law does not apply.
What Is the Driver’s Responsibility for Other Passengers?
It is against the law for a driver to operate a vehicle if any of the passengers do not meet the standards of the Florida Safety Belt Law, and the driver may be fined for any violations.
Should I see an Attorney if I Have Been Injured in a Car Crash?
If you have been in an automobile accident, and although you were wearing your seatbelt you were injured, then you want an experienced Florida automobile accident attorney on your side. You want to find an attorney who is passionate about representing clients involved in car accidents. A good Florida personal injury lawyer will help to ensure that you get meaningful compensation for your injuries.
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