According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, seatbelt use was 89.6% nationally in 2018. In 2017, seatbelt use saved 14,955 lives in 2017. If seatbelt use had been 100% in 2017, an additional 2,549 lives could have been saved. In the front seat of a passenger car, buckling up can reduce a person’s risk of fatal injury by 45%. It can reduce the risk of moderate to critical injury by 50%. In light trucks, that reduction is slightly higher. Buckling up can reduce the risk of fatal injury by 60%. It can reduce the risk of moderate to critical injury by 65%.
WSB Radio reports that Georgia could see changes to its seatbelt laws.
Before the new legislative session begins, a state senate study committee was looking to expand Georgia’s seatbelt laws to include backseat passengers.
Over the past few months, the committee has heard from numerous experts including a spokesperson for AAA.
A woman with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta said that because children model parent’s behavior, there is a reason for even adults to buckle up in the backseat. Under current law, only children are required to buckle up in the back seat.
The seatbelt law in Georgia was passed in 1988. Back then, only front-seat passengers were required to wear them. By 1993, all minors riding in vehicles were required to be buckled up. In 1996, not wearing a seatbelt became a primary violation, meaning that a police officer could pull a vehicle over upon noticing front seat passengers were not wearing a seatbelt.
The committee will put together the final report to be presented on December 1st.
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