The Importance of Seat Belts and Safety Seats

| May 13, 2014 | Comments (0)

Seatbelts and child safety seats are integral when it comes to protecting your children.

Seat Belt Safety

Always Buckle Up!

There is a great deal of information available today about the importance of using seat belts and safety seats. Many states participate in the “Click it or ticket” campaign (which is about to start back up beginning May 19th) as a way to raise awareness. Unfortunately, many people choose to ignore the warnings in spite of state laws defining their use. Teenagers have the lowest rate of seat belt use—typically, only 54 percent of high school students routinely use their seat belts when they are passengers in someone else’s vehicle. Some states still only consider the failure to buckle up children as a secondary offense. It is important for everyone to understand the chances they are taking when they fail to restrain their children in safety seats or fail to use seat belts.

The Facts

Seat belts saved more than 66,000 lives between 2007 and 2011. Considering the statistics concerning car accidents and the long-lasting injuries they can cause, all parents should keep the following safety tips in mind:

  • Do not transition your child from a booster seat to a regular seat until he or she is able to pass the Safety Belt Fit Test:
    • - The child’s knees should be able to bend at the edge of the seat with both their backs and bottoms are pressed against the back of the vehicle’s seat
    • - The lap belt in the vehicle should fit against the child’s upper thighs
    • - The shoulder belt should fit across the shoulder and chest
  • You need to teach your children the importance of always using seat belts once they pass the Safety Belt Fit Test
  • Children should ride in the back seat at least until the age of 13
  • Set an example for your children by always wearing a seat belt
  • Always use both a lap and shoulder belt if available
  • Make sure your children sit upright when they are using seat belts and not leaning against the windows

Texas Seat Belt Law

Booster Safety Seat Importance

Child Safety Seats

Under Texas law, all drivers and passengers are required to wear a safety belt. Failure to follow the law can result in fines anywhere from $25-$250, excluding court costs.

Children under the age of eight must be secured in an approved child safety seat unless an individual child is taller than four feet, nine inches. The fine for a first offense is $25, but it increases to $250 for the second offense and any that occur thereafter.

Although the law went into effect on September 1, 2009, provisions of the law prevented police from issuing any tickets until June 1, 2010. Prior to that date police were only allowed to issue warnings to those who violated the new law. Read more on Texas’ seat belt laws here:

Be safe out there!

By Jeff Rasansky.

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Category: Lawyer's Advice

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