Everything You Need to Know About Louisiana Seat Belt Laws
The first three-point seat-belt was introduced by Volvo in 1959 in the model PV 544. The company’s design proved to be highly effective at protecting passengers during car accidents— so much so that the Swedish carmaker made its patent available to competitors for free.
Decades later, the three-point seat-belt has been used in millions of automobiles. To commemorate the success of Volvo’s life-saving invention, the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) and Uber teamed up with the company to establish National Seat Belt Day every year.
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) has called the invention of seat belts the “single most effective safety technology in the history of the automobile.” If that’s not enough to convince you to buckle up, wearing a seat belt is also required by law. Learn more about Louisiana seat belt laws from the personal injury lawyers at Mike Brandner Injury Attorneys.
Louisiana Seat Belt Laws in a Nutshell
According to the most recent figures from the NHTSA, 87.5% of Louisiana drivers and passengers wear seat belts. This is slightly below the national average of 90.3%. Having a lower percentage of seat belt users compared to other states means that Louisianans are at a higher risk of serious injury and death due to car and truck accidents.
Adult Seat Belt Laws
- Drivers of any passenger car, van, sports utility vehicle, or truck that weighs less than 26,000 pounds and was manufactured after January 1, 1981 are required by law to wear a properly-fastened seat belt at all times when the vehicle is in forward motion.
- Drivers must only transport a number of passengers that is less than or equal to the number of available seat belts in the vehicle.
- Every occupant of a passenger car, van, SUV, or truck weighing less than 26,000 pounds must wear a seat belt.
Child Seat Belt Laws
- Children under the age of two must be secured in a rear-facing car seat that meets federal standards until they have reached the height and weight limit set by the manufacturer of the car seat.
- Children over the age of two who have reached the height and weight limit of rear-facing car seats must be secured in a forward-facing car seat with an internal harness until they reach the height and weight limit of the forward-facing car seat.
- Children who are at least four years old who have outgrown forward-facing car seats must be secured in a child booster seat with a lap shoulder seat belt.
- Children who are at least nine years old and have outgrown a child booster seat must be securely fastened in a standard seat belt that has been adjusted around the child’s body to fit correctly. The child should be sitting all the way back against the seat with their knees bent over the edge of the seat. In addition, the seat belt must fit snugly across the child’s thighs and lower hips and the shoulder belt should be positioned across their chest.
- Children who are younger than thirteen must be transported in the rear seat of a vehicle with an appropriate restraint device whenever possible.
Consequences of Violating Louisiana Seat Belt Laws
Violating Louisiana seat belt laws may be classed as either a primary or secondary offense.
- Failure to secure a child in any type of child restraint system is a primary offense. you may be fined $100 for the first offense, between $250 and $500 for the second offense, and $500 plus court costs for subsequent offenses.
- Failure to use an appropriate size or type of child restraint system is a secondary offense. You may be fined up to $100 including fees and court costs, but cannot be cited unless you were stopped for a moving violation.
- If you or a passenger are found not to be wearing a seat belt, you could be fined $50 for the first offense, $75 for the second offense, and $75 plus court fees for all subsequent offenses. If the offense occurred in Orleans Parish, an additional $20 fee will be assessed for each offense.
If you frequently travel to other states for business or pleasure, be sure to know that state’s seat belt laws, too.
Treat Every Day Like National Seat Belt Day
The simple act of properly wearing a seat belt dramatically reduces your chances of injury in a traffic accident. The NHTSA reports that front-seat car passengers wearing a seat belt reduces the chances of suffering a catastrophic injury by 50% and lowers the chances of a fatal injury by 45%. The numbers are even more drastic for front-seat truck passengers, with 65% and 60% reductions in critical and fatal injuries, respectively.
Given the figures above, it’s abundantly clear that wearing a seat belt is vital to protecting you and your passengers. On National Seat Belt Day (and every day), stress the importance of seat belts and review your family’s seat belt practices. Some easy and effective things you can do include:
- Checking the condition of all seat belts in your vehicle to make sure they’re in working condition
- Always buckling up before turning on your car or truck
- Making sure your passengers are wearing seat belts before leaving
- Refusing to transport a passenger who refuses to wear a seat belt
- Regularly inspecting your child’s car seat for damage or wear and tear
- Making sure your child hasn’t outgrown their safety or booster seat based on the manufacturer guidelines
Whether you’re a driver or a passenger, correctly wearing a seat belt dramatically lowers your chance of suffering life-threatening injuries in a New Orleans traffic accident. Please make sure that everyone in your household understands how important wearing a seat belt is for their well being.
Injured? Call Mike Brandner Injury Attorneys
Unfortunately, some people suffer injuries through no fault of their own, even while adhering to Louisiana seat belt laws. If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident, please contact Mike Brandner Injury Attorneys immediately. Our team of compassionate legal professionals will listen to every detail of your case and our experienced attorneys will do everything possible to win you maximum compensation. Our team knows how to deal with devious insurance companies and has a long track record of successful case results.
You can reach Mike Brandner Injury Attorneys by phone at the numbers listed below. If you’d like to connect with us online, LiveChat agents are standing by, or you can submit your case details via this secure contact form. Consultations are free and our team is available 24/7 to help.
The information on this blog is for general information purposes only. Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.