Seat Belt Rules for Child Passengers
The safety of all passengers in a vehicle is enhanced through the help of seat belts. However, there is a common misconception that the rear seat is always safer than the front and hence a seat belt is unnecessary. Moreover, while Michigan law stipulates clear guidelines for the use of seat belts by children below 16 years, it is silent on the necessity for back seat passengers who are 16 years or older to fasten their seatbelts. These assumptions are oblivious to the fact that seating at the rear seat can be equally dangerous as the front when seat belt safety is ignored. Proper restraint, when seated at either the back or front, is necessary to minimize injuries caused by accidents.
Michigan law outlines seat-belt guidelines for different ranges of kids. For children aged between 0 and 4 years, the law stipulates that they should ride at the back of the vehicle in a rear-facing seat until the age of 2. Once the child attains the age of 4, they should ride in a booster seat that is properly installed at the back seat. It also states that children must be buckled in a booster or car seat until they attain the age of eight or are more than 4feet 9 inches in height. The seat belt law is considered as a primary law which means that police officer are allowed to pull drivers over if any passenger is not wearing a seat belt.
Despite these requirements, a significant number of children still do not ride in booster seats. Car seats are usually not designed for use by children and hence are uncomfortable and increase the risk of harm. Children may face risks such as injury to their neck, head or internal organs. Booster seats, on the other hand, provide the advantage of helping to secure the child and prevent serious injuries resulting from accidents. However, they also need to be fastened securely and checked regularly for signs of damage. A Michigan car accident lawyer can help you or a loved one if they have been recently injured in an auto accident.
For kids between the ages of 8 and 15, the seat belt rules are not any different from the younger ones. They are however capable of wearing a seatbelt without any additional bolster seat for support. However, the law seems to imply that people above 16 years can ride the back seat without fastening their seatbelts. The law explicitly states that all children below 16 years must fasten their seatbelts and all front seat passengers must fasten their seatbelts. Since it does not state that all rear seat passengers must fasten a seat belt, people have literally interpreted the law to mean anyone above 16 years does not need a seat belt. This raises a significant interpretation issue that may affect proper enforcement of the requirement.
Despite the seat belt law loophole, persons over the age of 16 still have to buckle up. Regardless of the seating position, the seatbelt is crucial to protect a passenger from being tossed around in the event of a crash. Lacking one may cause a less serious impact to result in serious injuries to the passenger. Being at the rear seat does not reduce the probability of being injured during a car accident. In fact, rear passengers are just as susceptible to accidents as their front seat counterparts. Hence, no matter the age, all people are required to fasten their seat belts during car drives.
If you or a loved one was recently involved in a car accident, a Michigan car accident lawyer at Elia & Ponto can help you, visit us at https://www.eliaandponto.com/michigan-auto-accident-lawyer/
Company Name: Elia & Ponto
Contact Person: Donovan J. Greening
Email: Send Email
Address:25800 Northwestern Hwy Suite 850
State: MI 48075
Country: United States