According to a study conducted in 2017, almost half of the people who died in fatal car accidents that year were not wearing seat belts.
The leading cause of death among those aged between 1-54 years is due to motor vehicle crashes. Wearing a seatbelt is an effective way to save lives in these crashes. However, young adults, between the ages of 18-24, are the least likely to wear seat belts. In 2019, around 1,600 young adults, ranging from the ages of 15 to 20, died in motor vehicle crashes, with almost half of them not wearing a seat belt.
Under Virginia Code 46.2-1094, any driver and any other person occupying the front seat must wear a seat belt along with any passengers under 18 years old. You should also know that in Virginia seat belt laws are both secondary and primary enforcement law. For adults 18 and older, the officer can’t pull you over for not wearing a seatbelt but if they pull you over for a different violation, you can be fined for not wearing a seat belt, as a secondary offense. For people under 18, the individual can be pulled over for not wearing a seatbelt, as a primary offense.
Regardless of the law on this matter, it is proven that seatbelts help save lives. The next time you’re driving somewhere, remember to buckle up!