According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, thousands of deaths could be prevented every year is every passenger in a vehicle wore their seatbelt. Alabama plans on making sure all of its residents buckle up, thanks to a new seat belt bill that cleared the Alabama Senate and seatbelt for the Alabama House.
The bill in question is known as the Roderic Deshaun Scott Seat Belt Safety Act, named in honor of an Alabama high school student who died in a tragic car accident. Mr. Scott was sitting in the back seat with two other passengers when the accident occurred, ejecting Roderic from the vehicle since he was not wearing a seat belt.
Changes to Alabama Seat Belt Laws
The new Alabama seat belt law looks to ensure that passengers like Mr. Scott wear their seat belt, even when they are in the back seat. Current Alabama law requires only front seat passengers and children who are 15 and under to wear their seat belt. If the Roderic Deshaun Scott Seat Belt Safety Act is passed into law, all passengers — including those in the back seat — will be required to buckle up.
At present, 28 other states have a back seat law, making Alabama among the minority of states who have yet to require all back seat passengers to wear a seat belt. If the new bill makes it through the Alabama House, then law enforcement throughout the state will be able to stop drivers solely on the basis that a seat belt is not being used in either the front seats or back seats.
According to the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT), passing this bill can mean the difference between a passenger living or dying. ALDOT indicates that almost 60 percent of people who die in crashes were not wearing their seatbelt at the time of the accident. Worse, most of the crashes would have been survivable if the passenger was wearing the safety belt.
The bottom line is there are too many dangers on Alabama roads to not buckle up no matter where you sit in the vehicle. From distracted driving to DUIs, there are too many risks to ignore buckling up on every ride.
If you or a loved one has been injured or lost their life in an Alabama accident, talk to an Alabama injury attorney who will help you determine who is at fault and whether you are legally entitled to compensation for those injuries.
Noel B. Leonard is an Alabama personal injury attorney who helps victims receive compensation for their injuries when negligent parties, drunk drivers or distracted drivers are at fault. From his Foley office, Noel represents Alabama accident victims in Foley as well as victims in Baldwin, Mobile and Escambia Counties.
Contact Alabama injury lawyer Noel B. Leonard or call 251-943-8638 for a legal consultation to discuss the facts of your Alabama accident and injuries.