If you’re like most adults in Louisiana, then you spend a lot of time behind the wheel. Driving to work, running errands, picking up the kids – with so much experience on the road, it’s easy to become complacent.
Unfortunately, all it takes is one drunk, distracted or negligent driver to cause a tragedy. And if you’re not wearing a seatbelt when an accident happens, you are far more likely to sustain injuries or die.
For this reason, Louisiana laws require that most drivers wear their seatbelts whenever their vehicles are in forward motion. According to §295, there are only a few exceptions to this rule, which include:
- People who have disabilities that prevent them from wearing seatbelts;
- Drivers who operate vehicles in which seatbelts were not installed by the manufacturer; and
- In certain situations, rural letter carriers of the United States Postal Service.
Although your risk of suffering an injury in an accident is higher if you are not wearing a seat belt, violating this law would not be considered evidence of comparative negligence. For example, if you file a lawsuit against a driver who injures you, it is unlikely that the defendant could successfully argue that you contributed to the accident or your injuries because you were not wearing a seat belt.
If you were injured by a negligent driver in Louisiana, contact Morris Bart, LLC. Our legal team will help you claim compensation for lost wages, medical bills and non-economic damages. Call 800-537-8185 to schedule a free initial consultation with a personal-injury attorney in Alexandria.
Penalties for Not Wearing a Seat Belt while Driving in Louisiana
Drivers who violate Louisiana’s seat belt law will face a fine. In order to cite you for this offense, an officer must have had a clear, unobstructed view of you driving without wearing a seat belt. However, a violation of this law does not give the officer the right to inspect or search you, your vehicle, its contents or a passenger.
As of Oct. 31, 1995, people who violate Louisiana’s seat belt law will face the following penalties:
- A $25 fine for the first offense, which includes court costs;
- A $50 fine for the second offense, which includes court costs; or
- A third or subsequent offense comes with a $50 fine in addition to court costs.
NHTSA: More Than Half of All Car Accident Fatalities in 2014 Were Not Wearing Seat Belts
According to a report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than half of the 21,022 people who died in road accidents in 2014 were not wearing seat belts. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that seat belt laws, education and new technologies have led to an increase in seat belt use from 11 percent in 1981 to 85 percent in 2010. Unfortunately, 1 in 7 drivers admits to operating a vehicle without wearing a seat belt regularly.
If you were injured by a distracted, drunk or negligent driver in Louisiana, turn to Morris Bart, LLC. An Alexandria accident lawyer will assess your case to determine if you have grounds for a claim. Call 800-537-8185 to schedule a free consultation.