Texas’ Seat Belt Laws

You’ve been around the block. You’ve passed the written test to receive your Texas driver’s license, so you know seat belts save people’s lives. Not only do they save lives, but each state has laws on the books about seat belt use.

OK, seat belts save lives, but do you know all the reasons why they’re so important? Here are 8 good reasons to buckle up:

  1. Even a minor car accident injury can cost over $20,000, so seat belts can save you a fortune in medical bills.
  2. If you’re in a rollover crash, your chances of being ejected go way up, and the chances of dying are high when you’re ejected from a vehicle. The best chance of surviving a rollover is wearing a seat belt.
  3. You can’t trust other drivers. Somewhere in Texas, hundreds, if not thousands of other drivers are driving distracted and they could be texting while driving. If such a driver is headed in your direction, you don’t want to find out the dangers of distracted driving the hard way.
  4. You could be the safest driver on the road but that can’t prevent you from being hit by a poor, distracted, or drunk driver.
  5. In Texas, officers are on high alert for people in vehicles who are not buckled up. Do you want to risk getting a ticket because you didn’t feel like buckling up?
  6. When you buckle up, you don’t have to listen to that annoying ding-ding noise that your car makes when you don’t buckle up.
  7. If you’re a passenger who doesn’t buckle up and you’re in a crash, YOU are a danger inside the vehicle. Meaning, in a collision, your body can hurt the other passengers who are buckled up.
  8. Airbags are great, but they are the most effective when they supplement a seat belt. They are NOT meant to replace seat belts. Your chances of having spinal cord injuries go up when you’re not wearing a seat belt.

What Does Texas Law Say?

Under Texas law, everyone who is riding in a vehicle, including the backseat passengers, must wear a seat belt. If not, they face fines and court costs up to $200. As far as children, kids under the age of 8-years old have to be buckled up in a booster seat or child safety seat unless they’re taller than 4’ 9”. If a child is not restrained properly, the driver can be fined up to $250, plus court costs.

“While more than 91% are buckling up, nearly 9% still don’t. Even fewer Texans buckle up at night. Last year, the number of drivers and front-seat passengers not wearing seat belts increased by almost 40% from day to night. 60% of the 982 unbelted fatalities occurred at night. That’s why the ‘Click It or Ticket’ campaign to remind Texans to buckle up, both day and night, is more important than ever,” according to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT).

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