Study: 4 out of 5 backseat riders don't wear seat belts

According to a new report, four out of five people surveyed admitted to not using seat belts in the back seat while on short trips or on ride-sharing and taxi rides. (August 3, 2017)

Click it or ticket. We've all heard the slogan before, but a recent study seems to suggest some people do not use their seat belt, specifically in the back seat.

A study done by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that four out of five people surveyed admitted to not using seat belts in the back seat while on short trips or on ride-sharing and taxi rides.

The survey also revealed that many back seat passengers perceive the back safer than the front seat, which is why they think seat belts are not necessary.

Almost 40 percent of the people surveyed said they don't buckle up in the back sometimes because there is no law requiring it in many states, like Alabama, Connecticut, Michigan, Nebraska, South Dakota and others.

In California, however, using properly functioning seat belts in the front and back seats of a motor vehicle is required.

The driver of the motor vehicle and all passengers over the age of 8 are required to wear a seat belt, while children under 8 years old must use a child safety seat, according to the DMV.

If you or your passengers inside the car are not buckled up then you may be cited, and if the passenger is under the age of 16 then the driver may be cited if they are not wearing a seat belt.

"For most adults, it's still as safe to ride in the back seat as the front seat, but not if you aren't buckled up," said Jessica Jermakian, an IIHS senior research engineer and a co-author of the study. "That applies to riding in an Uber, Lyft or other hired vehicle, too."

Many people have wondered if these laws exclude ride-sharing companies, well they do not.

"Everyone wants to get from A to B safely. So please ensure that you follow the local law. Check out our rider safety tips. Whether you’re in the front or the back seat, buckle up when you get into the car," said a statement on Uber's website.

"Drivers should only take as many as passengers as there are seat belts in the car. Bigger groups of passengers should split into two cars, or use Lyft Plus, which can seat up to 6 passengers," according to Lyft's website.

The only cars you are not required to wear seat belts in the back seat for are taxis and limos. The driver of a taxi or a limo shouldn't operate the vehicle unless passengers 8 years old or older are using a seat belt in the front seat, according to California Vehicle Code 27315.

The fine for not wearing your seatbelt in California is typically $20 with additional fees for the first offense and $50 or more for the second and future offenses, but fees can vary depending on a particular county's court, according to CVC 27315.

The California Office of Traffic Safety's Click it of Ticket campaign, which debuted in California in 2005, says that the violation for adults violating the seat belt law can reach $162 or more.

All children under 8 years old must be in a federally approved child safety seat that's restrained using a seat belt in the back seat of a car.

© 2017 KXTV-TV


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