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What Are the Seat Belt Laws in Texas?

Texas leads the nation for the number of fatal traffic accidents, an honor that is nothing to brag about in the state. Given the high number of deadly car accidents in the Lone Star State, it should come as no surprise that numerous laws have been put in place over the years to protect motorists.

One such law emerged in 2002 and implemented new safety belt requirements for drivers and passengers, including those in the backseat. Updated in 2009, Click It or Ticket is one of the most significant Texas state laws to date, as it required – for the first time ever – that ALL passengers must buckle up, and also stated that children under the age of 8 must ride in a child safety seat or booster seat until they are at least 4 feet 9 inches tall.

Sadly, car accidents occur on Texas roads once every 71 seconds. Fatal crashes happen every 2.5 hours. Many of these car accidents in Texas are preventable. Buckling up is one of the best ways to reduce the number of fatal injuries.

At Shamieh Law, we understand how devastating these types of accidents can be. The last thing anyone expects when they get behind the wheel of a car or slide into the passenger seat is that an accident will occur. Therefore, to protect yourself and loved ones, wearing a seat belt is a necessity.

Injuries from car wrecks can range from minor whiplash to deadly injuries that may take years to recover from fully. If you were involved in a car accident in Dallas, please contact Shamieh Law today. Our experienced car accident attorneys are here to answer your questions and help you understand your rights.

What the Click It or Ticket Law Says

In May 2002, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) introduced Click It or Ticket, which is a campaign that urges Texans to use their seatbelts. Over the last 18 years, lawmakers and advocates alike have relied on the campaign to raise awareness about the dangers of driving and riding in a car without wearing a seatbelt.

Today, 91 percent of Texans reportedly use their seatbelt, compared to just 76 percent when the campaign first launched in 2002. According to statistics compiled from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), Click It or Ticket has saved nearly 6,000 lives and prevented over 100,000 injuries.

Every May during Seatbelt Safety Awareness Month, officers, lawmakers, and advocates ramp up their efforts to promote the importance of buckling up. As mentioned early, the state updated Click It or Ticket in 2009 to include passengers – adults and children.

Car Accident Statistics

Car accident statistics show that backseat passengers that do not buckle up have a much higher chance of injury and death. Here are a few additional facts to drive home just how essential seatbelts are for all drivers and passengers:

  • Backseat passengers who do not wear their seatbelt are more likely to get ejected in a car crash.
  • Backseat passengers who buckle up are 44 percent more likely to survive a serious car crash. 
    • This number increases to 73 percent for passengers in SUVs and vans.
  • In 2015, there were more than 2,300 accidents in Texas involving passengers who were not wearing their seatbelt.
  • Of the 467 Texas truck drivers killed in traffic accidents in 2015, 216 were not wearing a seatbelt.
  • Wearing a seatbelt is the leading way to prevent ejection in car accidents and increases the chance of survival by 45 percent (passenger cars) and 60 percent (trucks), respectively.
  • The number of drivers and passengers that do not wear their seatbelt at night increased by almost 40 percent in Texas in 2018.
  • 60 percent of the 982 fatalities where the victim did not wear a seatbelt happened at night.
  • In Texas, fines range from $25 to $250 for not buckling up.

Seatbelts Save Lives

The majority of drivers and passengers that die in car accidents were not wearing restraints, showing just how beneficial seat belts are in saving lives and preventing injuries. Roads in Texas are congested now more than ever.

Not only do we see more and more large commercial trucks on Texas roads, but people are flocking to the Lone Star State, causing traffic jams and increasing the risk of an accident. Combine the number of vehicles on the road with today’s many distractions, and it is no wonder we are bearing witness to so many deadly accidents.

However, we KNOW seat belts save lives, and buckling up is one of the simplest ways to protect yourself and others. Here are some of the top benefits of wearing a seatbelt:

  • It keeps you in place during a collision, preventing the body from being thrown around in the vehicle or ejected.
  • Experts designed seatbelts to work with airbags to keep you safe.
  • According to the NHTSA, buckling up is the most effective thing you can do to prevent injury and protect yourself in an accident.
  • The right way to wear your seatbelt is away from your neck and across the chest.
  • Seatbelts can prevent significant trauma to the chest, head, face, and torso.

Contact a Trusted Car Accident Attorney

Click It or Ticket started with the intention to save lives and protect motorists from deadly injuries. Over the last 18 years, it has done just that, but there is still a long way to go. Unfortunately, many are unaware that the law includes backseat passengers and children, therefore putting these individuals at risk by being negligent with buckling up.

The attorneys at Shamieh Law encourage you always to wear a seatbelt to protect yourself and others from injury. If you were involved in a car or truck accident in Dallas and require legal representation, please contact Shamieh Law today and schedule a free consultation.

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