Seatbelt Usage in Georgia

Seatbelt Usage in Georgia

Georgia is part of the South region when it comes to dividing the country for seatbelt usage statistics. The South has the second highest rate of usage behind the West, but Georgia ranks well above the national average. Georgia has a rate of 92 percent for people who buckle up compared to the US average of 86 percent.

There has been a seatbelt law in effect in Georgia since September 1988, but it only became a primary enforcement state in 1996. This means that a person can be stopped by law enforcement just for not wearing a seatbelt. There may be no other traffic violation.

Anyone age 18 and older may sit in the front seat, but they must wear a seatbelt. Otherwise, they are subject to a minimum penalty of $15. Anyone age eight through age 17 must wear a seatbelt in any seat. Children age seven and younger are required to be seated in a child safety seat. They must also be kept in the rear seat if one if available.

Georgia has seen a rate increase of people wearing seatbelts from 2007 to 2014. In 2007, there were 89.0 percent of people buckling up. This number went up to 97.3 percent in 2014. Almost every year has shown a steady increase except from 2008 to 2009 when there was a slight decline. Since then, the numbers have been positive every year.

Nationally, statistics show that urban areas have more people wearing seatbelts than those in rural areas. In addition, more people buckle up during rush hour and on weekends than during non-rush hour periods on weekdays. Furthermore, foggy conditions cause more people to buckle themselves in than in clear weather or in light precipitation. People also are more aware of having on their seatbelts in heavy traffic than in light to moderate traffic.

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