According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA),
in 2013, we had almost 5.7 million traffic collisions in the United States,
which led to 21,132 fatalities, 3,208 of which were children, teens, and
In 2013, car accidents were the #1 cause of death for four-year-olds, and
the second leading cause of death for three-year-olds and children ages
5 to 14. That same year, car accidents were the leading cause of death
for 15 to 20 year-olds, the NHTSA reports.
Importance of Seat Belts
The NHTSA contends that the most effective way for people to prevent injuries
and deaths is for drivers and passengers to be appropriately restrained
in seat belts. For younger children, they must be properly restrained
in a rear or forward-facing child safety seat.
The NHTSA estimates that when front seat occupants wear their lap and shoulder
belts correctly, it reduces the fatal injury rate by 45 percent, and it
reduces the risk of moderate to severe injuries by 50 percent.
If you’re an occupant in a light truck, the safety benefits are even
greater. The NHTSA estimates that when front occupants correctly wear
their lap and shoulder belts in a light truck, their risk of death is
reduced by 60 percent and their risk of sustaining moderate to critical
injuries is reduced by 65 percent.
Now that we know how important seat belts are, what does Texas law say
about wearing seat belts?
Texas’ Seat Belt Laws
Like other states, Texas has adopted seat belt laws, which can be found
under Chapter 545 of the Transportation Code. Under
Section 545.413, a person breaks the law if he or she is 15 years of age or older, and
is riding in a passenger vehicle that is equipped with seat belts, but
he or she is NOT wearing one.
It is also against the law to allow a child under the age of 17 to ride
in a vehicle without wearing a seat belt, providing the vehicle is equipped
with safety belts. So parents, don’t move the vehicle out of park
until all of the children in the car are buckled up!
Under Sec. 545.413(d), the offense of not wearing a seat belt is a misdemeanor,
punishable by a fine not to exceed $50.
Have you received a
traffic ticket for not wearing a seat belt or for another reason? To fight your ticket,
contact The Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC!