Georgia law states that each occupant in the front seat of a passenger vehicle traveling on Georgia roads and highways must be secured by a seat safety belt (lap and shoulder). All occupants of any passenger vehicle must utilize a seat safety belt if they are under the age of 18.
Safety belts are needed because they are the most effective occupant protection in all types of vehicle crashes. According to Crash Stats from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, seat belts saved 12,802 lives in 2014. Georgia Department of Transportation reports that the risk of fatality in a crash is reduced by about 45% when seat belts are used. Using safety belts correctly is a preventable health care habit that:
- helps you keep control of the vehicle;
- helps keep your head from striking the dash or windshield;
- helps keep people in the vehicle from hitting each other;
- helps spread the crash force across the stronger parts of the body;
- helps protect you from injury;
- helps keep you from being ejected from the vehicle.
When used correctly, safety belts are effective at helping reduce the risk of death or serious injury. Georgia has a “primary” safety belt law, meaning that officers may stop and cite violators without observing another violation.