Before you pull out of your garage — are you wearing your seatbelt?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only 86% of adults in Arizona wear seatbelts. The reason for this could be that seatbelt use is only a secondary law in Arizona.
Does this mean there are no seatbelt laws in Arizona?
Are there seatbelt laws for children at least?
In this article, we’re going to answer those questions and so much more. We’re going to talk about everything you need to know about Arizona seatbelt laws this 2022.
So buckle up and let’s go!
Seat Belt Laws in Arizona
There are still seatbelt laws in Arizona. It’s just that the seatbelt laws are secondary, meaning it isn’t a binding law.
So, if you’re in a moving vehicle, you need to comply with the following laws at all times:
- Make sure your lap and shoulder belt is properly adjusted and fastened when the car is moving.
- Assuming only the lap belt is available, ensure you fix it to fit you properly in a moving vehicle.
Of course, this is pretty basic. You probably already knew this.
But what about car seat laws for children? That’s where it needs a bit more consideration.
Car Seat Laws in Arizona
More than ensuring drivers and passengers buckle up safely when they’re on the road, Arizona also takes precautions to ensure the safety of children.
In Arizona, you need to invest in a car or booster seat if you have children who meet any of these conditions:
- Less than 4 feet and 9 inches in height
- Younger than 8 years old
For example, if you have a 10-year-old, but he’s still under 4’9”, you have to put him in a car seat. Once he meets both requirements, he can use a regular seat belt.
Now, you might be wondering why there’s a need to have car seats when there are already seatbelts built in? It’s simply because these aren’t designed for children. It’s very likely that these won’t fit, and kids can’t wear them properly.
So if you have a child, make sure to consider these car seat laws in Arizona.
Penalties for Seatbelt Laws in Arizona
Remember, Arizona uses secondary enforcement when it comes to seatbelt laws. So although police officers cannot stop you if they suspect you are driving without it, they can give you a citation after pulling you over for a different violation.
In comparison, the child car seat is a primary enforced law. Arizonans are even encouraged to call 1-800-505-BABY if they see an unrestrained child in a moving car.
If you violate this, you’ll need to pay a $50 fine.
However, the court may waive it.
After receiving a ticket, you can purchase and install a child safety seat or a booster seat in your car. Typically, the court can waive your penalty if you mail the receipt, showing that you complied with state standards.
Importance of Seatbelt Laws
Why are seatbelt laws so important?
Like others, you might feel like seatbelts should be optional.
But here you’ll find out why almost all states enforce seatbelt laws.
It Saves Lives
This is the number 1 reason why you should adhere to seatbelt laws.
The CDC states that seatbelts have saved an estimated quarter of a million lives since 1975.
Between 2017 and 2019, there were 2,745 fatal crashes in Arizona. MoneyGeek, a personal finance website, broke down the contributing factors leading to this figure and found that:
- 31% (845) involved speeding
- 22% (615) involved drunk driving
- 10% (274) involved distracted driving
Why are these statistics crucial?
Because seatbelts could have prevented these fatal crashes. 20% of people who died due to an accident in 2018 weren’t wearing seatbelts. That translates to 216 individuals who could have survived.
Even if you are involved in a crash, seatbelts can minimize the impact, leading to less severe injuries.
It Helps Model the Appropriate Behavior
Children take cues from their parents. If your kids see you drive without using a seatbelt, the message is it’s okay to do the same.
It is dangerous if you have teenagers eager to get behind the wheel. We say this because teens and young adults are the least likely to use a seatbelt.
In 2019, 43.1% of high school students in the US refused to wear seatbelts when sitting in the passenger seat. In that same year, half of the fatalities from the 16 to 19 age group were unrestrained when they got into a crash.
So if you wear your seatbelt, then your teen might follow suit – and it just might save their lives.
It Saves Money
Fewer injuries mean lower medical bills — that’s a given.
But do you know that wearing your seatbelt can also help you save on insurance premiums?
Insurers use several factors when calculating your rate. Your driving record is one of them.
Some violations, such as at-fault accidents, speeding, or a DUI, affect your rate significantly. A seatbelt violation doesn’t have the same impact, but it can still cause your premium to increase by 1% to 3%.
Besides preventing higher car insurance costs, some insurers also offer a seatbelt discount. It can lower your rates by as much as 15%.
And yes, you can get that just by simply strapping your seatbelt whenever you go for a drive. How hard can that be?
And there you have it! All the information you need about Arizona seatbelt laws.
We know it can be annoying at times, but remember, safety should be your priority when you’re behind the wheel — especially when you’ve got your children with you.
Having a car seat is an investment. You may think that it’s a hassle but consider the consequence of not having one.
So, before you pull out of your garage, don’t forget to buckle up.
And if you have a child that falls under the required conditions, make sure to get a car seat that they’re comfortable in.