Current Georgia seat belt laws only require adults in the front seat to wear seat belts. Children under the age of 17 were also required to wear seat belts at all times. However, in 2019, a new law was proposed to require seat belts for all individuals in a car, ensuring everyone’s safety. This law is still moving toward approval and implementation but it is expected to save many lives. The bill is expected to pass the state legislature, providing protection for everyone who rides in a car in the future.
When the previous seat belt law was passed, it was believed passengers traveling in the back seat of a car were safer and less susceptible to injury or death. However, over the years, several studies have shown the exact opposite. These studies reveal that back seat passengers are just as likely to experience injuries or even death when involved in a car accident while not wearing their seat belt, leading to the proposed changes in legislation. Wearing a seat belt reduces movement in an accident and helps protect all passengers from serious injuries or death, especially in more severe accidents.
Greater Protections in the Front Seat
If you think about all the safety features implemented in cars today, it’s clear to see that although wearing seat belts in the front seat is still essential to protect against injuries and deaths, drivers and front seat passengers actually have more protection in the event of a crash than those traveling in the backseat. Front airbags, side airbags and other newer safety features go a long way toward protecting front passengers from the impact of a crash, while the back seat often has fewer airbags, if any, and few additional safety features. When these back seat passenger aren’t buckled in securely, they are more likely to be thrown around the cabin or even out of the car, resulting in more severe injuries and increasing the likelihood of death due to the accident.
The Click It or Ticket Campaign
Each year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration promotes their Click It or Ticket campaign in an effort to encourage everyone to stay safer on the roads and keep their seat belts fastened. While the law in Georgia has only required seat belts for adult in the front seat and all children, this campaign always serves as a reminder that everyone needs to wear their seat belt to increase their level of safety on the road. Whether families are heading out on a road trip or they’re running errands around town, making sure everyone can enjoy a safe ride is an absolute necessity, especially with the increased traffic on the roads due to uncertainty about air travel due to the pandemic.