As a driver on Georgia roads, you know the risks you take every time you get behind the wheel of a car. Some accidents are inevitable and out of your hands, and one of the most successful tools to protect people from serious injury or death are seatbelts. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Georgia drivers and passengers are more likely to wear seatbelts than the national average.

During the first three decades of a person’s life, car accidents are one of the leading causes of death. Properly buckling children and wearing seat belts can reduce the risk of death and serious injury in a car accident by half. Although it seems like common sense that drivers wear seatbelts and follow these safety measures, the truth is that there are still millions of people who ignore the research and put their own lives at risk.

In Georgia, drivers and front passengers must always wear seat belts in the car. This is true even if you are only driving down the road. The state considers seat belt laws as primary laws and they cover front seat passengers 18 or older, drivers and any passenger between eight and 17 in any seat.

To increase seat belt use, law enforcement officials use several tactics. Primary seat belt laws give officers the ability to pull you over and give you a ticket simply for not wearing your seatbelt. When seat belt laws are secondary, you can only receive a ticket for not wearing your seat belt when you are pulled over for another traffic violation.

Officers also turn to increased penalties and nighttime enforcement programs to encourage all occupants of a vehicle to wear their seat belts. If all drivers and passengers wore seatbelts, lives would be saved.

This is for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as legal advice.