Seatbelt Usage in Michigan
Michigan has had a law in place regarding seatbelts since July 1985. However, it did not become a primary enforcement state until April 2000. Anyone 16 years old or up sitting in the front seat must obey this law or else they face a $25 fine for a first offense.
A state with primary enforcement means the driver may be stopped for a traffic ticket even if they are not committing any other traffic violation. In addition to the seatbelt law, the state also has a law for child restraint seats which requires anyone seven years old and younger to be placed in a restraint seat. Failure to obey this law may result in a $10 fine for a first offense. Anyone who is three years old or younger must stay in a rear seat if one is available in the vehicle.
In 2012, Michigan had a rate for seatbelt use of 94 percent. This was higher than the national average of 86 percent at the time. Michigan has maintained a high rate of compliance, according to a report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In 2007, the rate for the state was 93.7 percent. Statistics have hovered around this number even though 2014. The low point was in 2013 with 93.0 percent, which is still well above the national average.
Michigan’s fatality rate on roadways is also slightly lower than the national average. In 2015, it reported 7.5 per 100,000 population compared to the US average of 10.9. It is also interesting to note that Michigan is placed in the Midwest region by the NHTSA, which is in fourth place out of four for seatbelt use. The region has a rate of 81.7 percent, which is over 13 percent lower than first place, which is the West region at 95.0 percent.