Seatbelt Usage in Arkansas
Arkansas has had a seatbelt law in place since July 1991. It became a primary enforcement state in 2009. This means that a police officer can stop a vehicle just for a person not wearing a seatbelt. In Arkansas, a seatbelt is required for anyone age 15 and up in the front seat. If a person is ticketed for this violation, they may receive a $10 fine for a first offense.
Child safety seats are also required in Arkansas for those aged five and younger. There are no requirements for people sitting in the rear seats. Arkansas has a lower use of seatbelt wearers than the national average at 72 percent as compared to 86 percent. However, the rate has improved since 2007 when only 69.9 percent of occupants wore a seatbelt. In 2014, that number was 74.4 percent. It was a slight decline of 2.3 percent from 2013. The highest rate was in both 2010 and 2011 when it was over 78 percent.
Interestingly enough, Arkansas is considered to be part of the West region, which has the highest rate of seatbelt use at 95 percent. This is well above the second place region, the South, at 89.2 percent.
More people in urban areas buckle up than in rural areas, and those traveling in cars, vans, and SUVs are more likely to wear a seatbelt than someone in a pickup truck. In addition, light fog is more likely to cause people to buckle up than light precipitation. People traveling in rush hour traffic may be less likely to wear their seatbelts though those who travel in heavy traffic are more likely to take the time to put it on than those who travel in light or moderate traffic. These statistics are for nationwide and all ages of drivers.