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Wisconsin Seat Belt Law

Understanding The Wisconsin Seat Belt Law

Motor vehicle accidents are not always preventable. Wisconsin seat belt laws aim to protect both driver and passengers in the event of an accident. Seat belt laws are either considered as “primary” or “secondary” enforcement laws.  As of 2009, Wisconsin has been considered a primary enforcement state. In a nutshell, this means that an officer can pull over and ticket a driver for not wearing a seat belt.  A driver can also be ticketed if passengers are not strapped in or if children are not in car seats according to the law.

Restraining Laws Differ By State

Because statistics show that using seat belts save lives, it’s best practice to buckle up.Be prepared that seat belt laws are not consistent across state lines. Between Wisconsin and Illinois, for example, the law changes slightly for backseat passengers. Drivers should never transport passengers, especially children, without clearly understanding the seat belt laws of each state.

Importance of Seat Belts in the Event of a Crash

The most recent statistics from the CDC state that more than half of those killed in an accident were not wearing a seat belt when the crash happened. Some folks who oppose seat belt laws argue that seat belts can cause injury. This is indeed true. However, research indicates that seat belts save lives far more often. So often, in fact, that states adopted laws to require seat belt usage. If you’re in an accident, a seat belt is likely to save your life or life of other passengers. Failure to wear a seat belt increases the risk of being ejected from the vehicle.  Those who are thrown from a vehicle during an accident are more likely to suffer severe injuries, or death.

Car Seat Laws For Children

Most confusion over Wisconsin seat belt laws pertain to the restraint of children passengers. Adults sometimes say, “my child is big for their age,” or “my child is tall for their age.” Never the less, these observations don’t change the laws. It is the responsibility of the driver to assist young passengers in their seat belts. Don’t use personal judgement to determine if a child is safe to be moved from a rear-facing to front-facing car seat. Because the laws for rear facing vs front facing child car seats are particular to age and weight, it’s important to get the facts straight.  I.I.H.S seat belt and child seat laws by state

Why Someone May Not Follow the Law

There are lots of excuses as to why someone would choose not to wear a seat belt:

  • Unaware of the Law
  • In too much of a hurry
  • Not comfortable
  • Too restrictive
  • Not the “cool” thing to do

According to the CDC; compared to older age groups, persons age 18-24 are the most likely to not wear a seat belt. Also, passengers in the back seat are less likely to wear a seat belt than a driver. Both scenarios contribute to more driver and passenger deaths. Furthermore, none of reasons stated are worth the risk of life or death.  Accidents happen anytime, anywhere, and without warning.

History of State Seat Belt Laws

Passenger cars were built with a simpler version of a seat belt, as far back as the 1960’s.  However, driving a car didn’t require wearing a seat belt until much later.  In 1984, states began to launch various versions of current seat belt laws. The laws began to enforce seat belt usage for the driver of a car, and sometimes different requirements for other occupants.

Involved in an Accident?

At Action Law Offices, we understand that accidents are sometimes impossible to prevent. Don’t discount the relevance of seat belt laws to save lives. One of the first questions your Action Law Accident Attorney may ask is, “were you and your passengers properly restrained?” Be certain that your answers are “yes!” For questions or concerns about Wisconsin seat belt laws, or how they impact an accident lawsuit; contact Action Law Offices. We offer a free initial consultation for new clients.

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