Most of us are aware of seat belt laws and the importance of buckling up when you get into the car. However, you may not know that numerous states have a loophole which allows adult back seat occupants to ride without their seat belt on. Virginia (VA) is one of those states.
Laws are on the books in VA requiring minors to wear their seat belts while riding in the back, but not for adults. This is extremely dangerous since an unbuckled adult in the back seat can become a “back seat bullet” in a car accident, according to USA Today.
There seems to be this false belief that if you are in the back seat, you are somehow safer than the people in the front. This is not the case. In a car crash, a back seat passenger not wearing a seat belt will continue to move at the same rate of speed as your car until they hit something like the dashboard, back of your sea, or windshield.
Six states took the step of expanding their seat belt laws in 2007 but Virginia (VA) remains one of the over 20 states across the country that still allows adult back seat passengers to ride without a seat belt. This needs to be corrected as soon as possible.
Seat belts reportedly save 11,000 lives every year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Car accidents are the leading cause of death for people under the age of 35. It makes no sense to keep the current laws on the books enabling adults to ride in the back unbuckled. Let us hope our legislators take action and correct there glaring loophole in our seat belt laws.
About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper, Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm (VA-NC law offices ) edits the injury law blogs Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard, and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard as a pro bono service to consumers.