Every state in the US has seat belt laws, and for good reason. According to information available from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), buckling up in the front seat of a passenger vehicle can reduce the risk of fatal injury by 45% and reduce the risk of moderate to critical injuries by 50%.
Here, our team of Phoenix personal injury attorneys examine the specific points of Arizona’s seat belt law, and we deeply want to stress the importance of wearing a seat belt in order to increase your safety and the safety of your loved ones.
What the Law Says About Seat Belts in Arizona
ARS 28-909 states that in every vehicle manufactured from 1972 forward, all front seat occupants are required to use seat belts when the vehicle is in motion. Any school bus that carries more than 10 passengers is exempted from this law.
The Arizona law extends to passengers under the age of 16. Any passenger under 16 years of age is required to wear a seat belt. Additionally, minors between the ages of 1 and four must sit in a front-facing child safety seat, and booster seats are to be used in children aged 5 through 7. Children under the age of seven must sit in the back seat of the car. Children aged 8 and over can ride without a booster seat or car seat, but they must have a seat belt on.
The state of Arizona does not prohibit passengers from riding in the cargo area of a pickup truck, but the same laws regarding children under the age of 16 apply. In other words, anyone 16 years of age or younger will not be able to ride in the cargo area of a pickup truck.
Citations for a seat belt violation are $10. Any fee collected by municipal courts is retained by the municipality to be used in that jurisdiction.
Why Seat Belts Matter
Seatbelts save lives. There is no question about that. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the seat belt use rate across the country is approximately 92% of all individuals. Unfortunately, the data shows that 50% of all passenger vehicle occupant deaths in 2021 were those who did not have a seat belt on at the time the incident occurred. The data indicates that during a recent year, seat belts saved nearly 15,000 lives, and approximately 2,500 additional lives could have been saved if individuals had chosen to wear seat belts.
The consequences of not wearing a seat belt are clear – drivers and passengers face a significant risk of sustaining serious injuries or death if they do not wear a seat belt. Airbags alone are not enough to prevent major injuries. Again, we want to restate what the NHTSA says about buckling up – those in the front seat of the car can reduce the risk of fatal injury by 45% and the risk of moderate to critical injury by 50% by wearing seat belts.
If you or somebody you care about has been injured due to the negligent actions of another driver on the roadways, reach out to an attorney as soon as possible. A skilled car accident lawyer in Arizona can help examine the facts of your case and determine the best steps moving forward for your situation.