Massachusetts Seat Belt Laws
Massachusetts law requires all drivers and passengers who are 12 years old and older to wear seat belts when in a moving vehicle. There are a few exceptions, which include:
- Drivers and passengers who have proof from a physician that a disability or medical condition makes wearing a seat belt dangerous or impossible.
- Drivers and passengers of vehicles made before July 1966.
- Taxi, livery, tractor, bus, and truck drivers (the truck must have a gross weight of at least 18,000 pounds).
- Emergency vehicle passengers and police and fire vehicle drivers.
- Postal workers on duty.
Additionally, Massachusetts car seat laws require children of certain ages and height to be properly restrained in an approved car seat. Child Passenger Restraint Laws in Massachusetts require:
- Children must ride in federally approved child safety seats until they are at least eight years old or at least 57 inches tall.
- Children older than eight or taller than 57 inches must wear safety belts.
The Benefits of Wearing A Seat Belt
Studies of vehicle accident reports and fatal car accident statistics show that three-point seat belts are superior to lap-only belts. Three-point seat belts can decrease the risk of fatality to front-seat passengers by 60%. Back-seat passengers who wear seat belts also have a reduced the risk of serious injuries and a measurable reduction in the risk of dying in a car accident. Back-seat passengers involved in a serious accident are 44% less likely to suffer fatal injuries if they are wearing a seat belt. Back-seat passengers of SUVs reduce their risk of being killed in an accident by 74%.
Given the benefits of wearing a seat belt, it is understandable why most states now have seat belt laws that require drivers and passengers to wear them.
Seat Belts Reduce Injury Risk, But They Can Also Cause Serious Injuries On Their Own
If the law requires seat belts, they must be safe, right? In most cases, yes, however, despite all the evidence regarding seat belt safety, seat belts have been found to cause serious injuries in certain situations. Seat belts can cause the following injuries:
- Internal Organ Damage
- Abdominal Injuries
- Chest Wall Injuries
- Rib Cage Damage
- Rupture Breast Implant
- Internal Bleeding
- Cervical Radiculopathy
- Bowel Trauma
- Throat Injuries
- In some cases, death
Experienced And Aggressive Boston Area Seat Belt Injury Attorneys – Free Consultation
If you or a loved one has suffered a seat belt injury during the course of an automobile accident then you may have a claim for personal injuries and lost wages. The Brockton, Massachusetts accident attorneys at The Law Offices of Gerald J. Noonan invite you to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation to learn more about your options and legal rights. We have over 30 years of experience getting our clients the compensation they deserve.
For more information about seat belt laws in Massachusetts, read Chapter 3: Safety First of the Massachusetts Driver’s Manual.