FACTS ABOUT SEAT BELT USE FOR ADULTS AND CHILDREN
There are lots of good reasons to always wear your seat belt when
you drive or ride as a passenger. First of all, it’s the law
in Pennsylvania. In addition to requiring the use of seat belts
for you, as an adult, the Pennsylvania Child Passenger Protection
Act requires that:
- All drivers are responsible to secure children from birth
to age four in an approved child passenger restraint system.
The fine is waived if the driver shows proof of a car seat (primary
- All drivers are responsible to secure children four years
of age to eight years of age in a seat belt system and an approved
child booster seat. The fine is waived if the driver shows proof
of a car seat.
- All drivers are responsible to secure all children eight years
of age and above but under eighteen years of age anywhere in
the vehicle in a seat belt. In addition, each driver and front
seat occupant shall wear a seat belt.
- A driver under the age of 18 may not operate a motor vehicle
in which the number of passengers exceeds the number of safety
seat belts in the vehicle.
Offense: Failure to comply with the provisions
of the first two laws shall be a summary offense with a maximum
fine of $100.00. Failure to comply with the next two provisions
shall be guilty of a summary offense with a fine of $10.00.
For further information on the seal belt laws, go to www.psp.state.pa.us/trooph.
There are actually two collisions in every automobile accident.
When your car crashes into something, it gets twisted, bent, or
buckled with the force of the collision, then comes to a stop. In
the second collision the force of the crash is applied to you, inside
your car. And if you’re not wearing seat belts, it’s
you that gets your face smashed against the windshield or dashboard,
and your body speared on the steering column.
A lot of UNTRUE statements are often made about seat belts. Some
of the most common ones are:
- “In many kinds of accidents it’s better to be
thrown clear of the car.” You are roughly 25 times more
likely to be fatally injured if you are thrown from your car,
in all kinds of crashes. The pavement is hard, there are lots
of lethal objects to get thrown into or to hit while you are
scraping along the ground, and you’ve got a good chance
of being crushed by another vehicle if you’re thrown out
of your car. Even if your car catches fire or goes under water
– which together make up less than one-half of one percent
of all injury-producing accidents – you’re better
off if you are wearing your seat belt. It will keep you from
hitting your head and losing consciousness, making it possible
for you to escape after your car is stopped.
- “I don’t really need my seat belt since I have
a new car with air bags” While air bags alone can reduce
your chances of being killed in a frontal collision by 20 to
40 percent, air bags and seat belts in combination make you
45 to 55 percent safer. And air bags provide virtually no protection
in rear-end collisions, or if someone runs a stop sign or red
light and crashed into you from the side, or if your car rolls
over in a crash.