The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is kick-starting its annual seat belt enforcement campaign, even as a bill that would require all occupants of a car in Georgia to be buckled in remains pending.
The current bill pending in the Senate would require that all occupants of a vehicle, including any adults in the back seat, remain buckled while the car is in motion. This bill was introduced in 2019, and has a lot of support from lawmakers who believe that it is important for all occupants in a car to receive equal protection against injuries and the possible risk of death in an accident. If this bill is ultimately be passed and becomes law, Georgia will join the list of states that now require all motorists and passengers to be buckled in while driving, without exception.
Currently, the law in Georgia requires only front seat passengers to wear seat belts. The law applies only to minor back seat passengers below the age of 17. Adult passengers in the back seat are exempt from the law.
The current law lends to the mistaken belief that back seat passengers are safe when they are riding in the back seat when, in actuality, nothing could be further from the truth. There have been several studies conducted over the past few years that have clearly indicated the grave risk to the life and safety of back seat passengers. It is extremely important that all occupants of a car, even those travelling in the back seat, wear seatbelts to protect themselves against serious injuries or the risk of death during an accident.
If anything, front seat passengers enjoy much greater protections in the event of an accident with the advent of new auto safety technologies. For instance, side airbags and a number of other auto safety features have increased the odds of surviving a car accident. Back seat passengers, especially if they are unbuckled, have very few such protections, which places them at an increased risk of sustaining serious injuries during an accident.
As the holiday season is fast approaching, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration hopes that its annual seatbelt enforcement campaign, called Click it or Ticket, will remind motorists and all of their passengers of the importance of wearing wear seat belts while in a vehicle. Although people may be celebrating the holidays differently this year, the number of cars on the road is still expected to be higher than normal which makes the risk of being in an accident exponentially higher. The increase in vehicular travel during this time of year may be even more so as many people are still hesitant to travel by airplane, but are anxious to take a trip after almost a year of postponing travel.
The Atlanta car accident attorneys at the Katz Law Firm represent persons who have been injured in car accidents in the metro Atlanta region and across Georgia. If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident, talk to a lawyer at our firm, and discuss your legal rights to a claim for compensation. You may be entitled to compensation that includes medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering.