Are Backseat Seat Belts Required in Florida?

According to Florida law, seat belts are largely required in the state. However, this requirement varies depending upon whether a person is sitting in the front seat or backseat of the motor vehicle. The age of the passengers also dictates whether seat belt usage is required of them. 

In this article, we will discuss the seat belt laws in Florida and whether or not backseat passengers are required to use them. 

Seat Belt Laws for Front Seat Passengers

Both drivers and front seat passengers of motor vehicles must wear seat belts while in a motor vehicle in Florida. Failing to adhere to this law is a primary offense – a police officer can pull a driver over for not wearing a seat belt even if they are not committing any other traffic violations. 

All passengers under the age of 18 are required to wear a seat belt. This means that it is illegal for an individual to drive a vehicle if all people under the age of 18 are not secured – this is a legal liability for both the minor passengers and the driver.

Seat Belt Laws for Backseat Passengers

Under Florida law, adults (people 18 and over) are not required to wear seat belts when sitting in the back seat of a motor vehicle. However, though the law does not require it, it is still advised to be secured in a moving vehicle, even if you are in the back seat. Back seats may not contain all of the safety features that are available to front seat drivers and passengers in the event of a crash. If you are not wearing a seatbelt, you are likely to be thrown into the seat in front of you if the car you’re in is involved in a collision.

Risks of Not Wearing a Seat Belt

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), national seat belt usage was 90.4% in 2021. In 2017, almost 15,000 lives were saved because passengers involved in collisions were wearing their seat belts. Further, it was estimated that approximately 2,500 passengers’ lives could have been saved had they worn their seat belts.

The risks of improperly wearing or not wearing a seat belt at all are numerous:

  • Seat belts help to keep you safely secured inside of the vehicle – not buckling up can result in you being ejected from the car in a crash which, according to the NHTSA, “is almost always deadly.” 
  • Improperly wearing a seat belt, such as beneath your arms or with only one strap, means that the seatbelt is unable to protect you in the way its design is intended. In the event of a crash, this could result in serious harm. 
  • Airbags may not be enough to protect you in the event of a crash – they can seriously injure or kill you if you are not wearing your seat belt.

The risks of one person not wearing a seat belt also extend to other people in the vehicle. Passengers’ exposure to other unbelted riders increases their risk of death or injury by a significant margin.

At the end of the day, wearing a seat belt can prevent harm to you and the other people in the vehicle. It is also an easy task to perform and is relatively unobtrusive.

A Lawyer Can Help if You’ve Been Involved in a Car Accident

Car accidents in Florida can be terrifying. If the incident was caused by someone else, you might have the ability to obtain compensation for the harm you’ve suffered. Reach out to a car wreck attorney for legal advice and assistance. 

Contact Our Car Accident Law Firm in South Florida

If you’ve been injured in an accident, contact the Boca Raton car accident lawyers at Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers at the location nearest you for a free consultation:

Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers – Boca Raton Law Office
7000 W Palmetto Park Rd #500
Boca Raton, FL 33433
(561) 347-7770

Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers – Fort Lauderdale Law Office
200 S.E. 6th Street #203
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
(954) 287-0566

Hollander Law Firm Accident Injury Lawyers – West Palm Beach Law Office
319 Clematis St #203
West Palm Beach, FL 33401
(561) 556-7873