A key element behind vehicle safety is the proper use of seatbelts by all passengers. It has been proven to reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries that occur from an accident.
Unfortunately, it is sometimes assumed that back seat passengers do not need to wear seatbelts. While Michigan law does not require back seat passengers to wear seatbelts, those passengers have an equal amount of risk as anyone in the front seat. The bottom line is that regardless of where a passenger is sitting, a seatbelt is essential for minimizing potential injuries.
We examine other components of the seatbelt law below.
What Are The Seat Belt Laws in Michigan?
Simply put the driver of a motor vehicle and its passengers riding in the front seat must wear a seat belt. This law is regarded as the primary seat belt law. In other words, law enforcement officials have the right to pull over drivers who are not wearing seatbelts and issue them tickets for not following this law. Michigan law also requires that passengers ages 8-15 MUST wear a seat belt under all circumstances while riding in a motor vehicle.
Seat Belt Regulations for Minors
Michigan law mandates that all children in a vehicle must wear a seatbelt. It also outlines different seating requirements for minors who are passengers in a vehicle. Children under 4 are required to ride in the back seat of a vehicle. Children under the age of two must ride in a rear-facing car seat. Children between the ages of four and eight must ride in a booster seat. There are a few height exceptions.
What is the law for booster seats?
In spite of these requirements, a high number of child passengers do not ride in a booster seat, as required by law. Parents often may be unaware of the law or may have challenges with setting up their child’s car seat(s). Booster seats are imperative for child passengers, as they are designed with children in mind and help to secure them properly so as to prevent serious injuries in the event of a car accident. This is especially important in light of the fact that standard-sized car seats are not made with children in mind, and are far more likely to increase the risk of harm or injury to a child passenger.
Booster seats should be fastened securely into the car, and should also be checked for any signs of damage on a regular basis. Local law enforcement agencies are often available to provide free guidance and help for parents in securing child or booster seats so that is car accident is less likely to cause a significant injury.
What Are Michigan Seat Belt Requirements for Teens?
Michigan seatbelt laws for passengers between the ages of 8-15 require that they wear a seatbelt. However, while the law explicitly requires all persons below 16 to buckle up, it does not state any requirement for persons over the age of sixteen. Unfortunately, this has led some to interpret the law as meaning that those over sixteen do not need to wear a seatbelt. However, in spite of this perceived legal loophole, passengers over the age of sixteen should still wear a seatbelt.
We all know that a seatbelt is an imperative safety mechanism for a passenger. In the event of a vehicle accident, lack of a seatbelt could result in serious or fatal injuries. It is important to note that passengers in the rear are just as vulnerable when it comes to car accidents. This means that people of all ages should always be sure to wear a seatbelt when riding in a vehicle.
At Bashore Green, we encourage all of our clients to buckle up, not only because it’s the law, but because it can save lives. Contact us for any questions related to an auto accident in Michigan that caused injuries to you or someone you love.