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Stricter Seatbelt Laws Prevent Injuries among Teenagers

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Teenagers, who live in states that have strict primary enforcement seatbelt laws, may be much more likely to wear seat belts compared to those teenagers who live in states that do not have primary enforcement laws in place.

Primary enforcement laws allow police officers to pull a motorist over if he or she is not buckled in safely. The officer does not have to first pull the motorist over for some other offense, before ticketing him for seatbelt failures. However, in secondary enforcement states, the officer must first pull the motorist over for some other offense like speeding, before ticketing the motorist for failure to wear seat belts.

Obviously, primary enforcement is a much more effective way of encouraging seatbelt usage. As any Thousand Oaks car accident lawyer knows, primary seatbelt usage laws have been greatly beneficial in reducing traffic accident fatality numbers.

The researchers considered data from more than 3, 000 teenage drivers in American high schools. These drivers were asked to participate in the 2006 National Young Driver Survey. The researchers found in their analysis that teenage drivers who lived in states with secondary seatbelt enforcement laws were approximately 12% less likely to buckle up, compared to teenage drivers who lived in states with primary enforcement laws.

Further, teenagers who lived in secondary enforcement states were approximately 15% less likely to buckle up as passengers, compared to passengers who lived in primary enforcement states.

Thousand Oaks car accident attorneys also know that secondary seatbelt laws do not encourage the practice of buckling up among teenagers. The researchers found that in these states, seat belt use actually decreased as the teens progressed to being fully- licensed drivers. That was not the case in states that had primary enforcement seat belt laws in place.


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