Maybe you were in a rush, going a short distance, or just too concerned with work, a discussion, or the kids to pay attention. You might wonder if you can receive an insurance payout if you were involved in an accident without wearing a seat belt.
Although not wearing a seat belt may not always prohibit you from collecting on an insurance claim, it may reduce your earnings.
The effects of wearing safety belts on auto insurance are one of three ways that using a seatbelt (or not using one) can influence you. Here in this article, we’ll discuss the results of not using a safety belt in the following situations:
- A statutory framework (that is, traffic violations)
- Suits and claims made against safety insurers
- Fastening Safety Belts and the Law
The three-point seat belt, which combines a lap belt with a shoulder harness, was designed in 1959 by Volvo engineer Nils Bohlin, but it took decades for it to become standard practice among drivers. While seat belts were becoming standard equipment by the early 1980s, just 14% of drivers and passengers utilized them. Learn more!
In 1984, New York became the first state to enact legislation requiring all drivers and passengers to wear seat belts. Since then, all states except New Hampshire have done the same. In 1986, California became the first state to mandate safety belts in motor vehicles.
Seat Belt Legislation in California
The provisions of California’s seat belt law are as follows:
A seat belt is mandatory for motorists.
- Everyone above the age of 16 is required to wear a safety belt at all times.
- No one, including the driver, is permitted to operate a motor vehicle unless a seat belt properly restrains everyone in the car.
- When this happens for the first time, the fine is $20. A $50 fine is assessed for each successive infraction.
- Primary and secondary enforcement are the methods used to ensure that people wear seat belts. When a police officer pulls over a motorist for another reason, they may only issue a citation for failure to wear a seat belt (known as “secondary enforcement”). Using primary enforcement permits traffic stops for seat belt violations to be made by law enforcement officials without any other provocation. To a large extent, California is a state that enforces the law.
Does It Impact Insurance Claims If You Weren’t Wearing a Seat Belt?
According to California law, a violation “does not establish negligence per se for purposes of comparative blame”.