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What Are Georgia’s Seat Belt Laws?

By Butler Prather LLP on July 20, 2020

During the latest reporting year of data available from the Georgia Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, we can see that there were more than 1,500 total traffic crash fatalities across the state. Georgia as recently enacted a hands-free law to help curb instances of distracted driving and cut down on total traffic fatalities, but we need to remember that seat belt laws are incredibly effective at preventing fatalities in the event a collision occurs.

GA seat belt laws

Georgia’s seat belt laws

Each state is responsible for setting its own seat belt laws. Georgia is considered a primary seat belt law state, meaning officers can pull someone over and issue them a ticket solely for a seat belt violation. The seat belt laws in Georgia include the following:

  • Driver and front-seat passengers. All drivers and front-seat passengers are required to wear a seat belt. There are no exceptions to this law, aside from a person who obtains a medical exemption with a note from their doctor to the DMV. Failing to comply with this law could result in a ticket with a fine of $15.
  • All passengers aged 8 to 17. Georgia law requires that any passengers inside the vehicle between the ages of eight and 17 must wear a seatbelt regardless of where they are located in the vehicle. Failure to comply with this law could result in a ticket with a fine of $25.
  • Infants and children under the age of 8. Infants and children under the age of eight in a car in Georgia must be secured in a car seat. The law states that the car seat must be “appropriate for such child’s height and weight and approved by the United States Department of Transportation.” In general, infants and children should be in the rear seat of the vehicle and the seat must be secured to the vehicle according to the manufacturer’s instructions. If a child weighs at least 40 pounds and is at least four feet 9 inches tall, they may be secured in the vehicle without a child safety seat and using only the vehicle’s seat belt. Failure to comply with this law could result in a ticket with a fine enough $50.

How effective are seat belts?

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), motor vehicle accidents are a leading cause of death across the country. During a recent reporting year, the CDC says that more than half of teenagers and adults who died in vehicle crashes were not using their seatbelts at the time of the incident. The CDC also estimates that seatbelts save approximately 15,000 lives each year. Data shows that seatbelts reduce serious crash-related injuries and deaths by approximately 50%.

Research has been conducted across the country and shows that, in areas where there is primary enforcement of seat belt laws, people are more likely to buckle up when they get behind the wheel. As we mentioned above, Georgia has primary seat belt laws in place.

While a person who gets into an accident while not wearing their seat belt may survive a crash, they are much more likely to sustain severe injuries. It is not uncommon for crash victims who were not wearing their seatbelts to sustain broken or dislocated bones, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, internal organ damage, and more.

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, call our Atlanta car accident attorneys today.

Posted in: Car Accidents

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