Most people do not think twice about buckling up when they get in their car. It is automatic for many. However, nearly 1 in 7 people still do not wear a seat belt, especially since many Georgians see them as an option.
A new proposal is looking to change that and keep people on Georgia roads safer.
Statistics show seat belts save lives
When drivers and passengers do not wear seat belts, they face an even greater risk of suffering a devastating injury. And there is a considerable amount of evidence proving this, including:
- Roughly 30,000 people are killed in car crashes each year. And the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that each year, roughly half of drivers and passengers killed in car accidents were not wearing a seat belt; yet
- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) also reports that overall, seat belts can reduce the risk of a fatality by 45%, and a serious injury by 50%.
For something as simple as putting on a seat belt, these statistics can be quite alarming. Yet, wearing a seat belt can make a significant difference. Both the CDC and the NHTSA confirm that seat belt use is one of the best ways individuals can reduce their risk of injuries and fatalities in the event of an accident.
Recently, some Georgia lawmakers seem to be taking these statistics into careful consideration for the future.
A proposed bill would require seat belt use for all
Under Georgia’s current laws, seat belts are only required for:
- The driver of the vehicle;
- The passenger in the front seat; and
- Passengers under 17.
Adults sitting in the back seat do not have to wear seat belts.
At the beginning of November, a Georgia Senate committee proposed Senate Bill 160, which would require all passengers in any vehicle to wear a seat belt. It is still too early to tell whether the bill will pass. The bill is only in a study committee, and it has received both support to protect Georgians as well as pushback to conserve personal liberties.
Regardless of whether or not the bill passes, all drivers and passengers should always buckle up. That is one thing they have under their complete control to protect themselves against negligent and reckless drivers.