Wearing a seat belt is such an important way to protect both you and your passengers when you’re driving. In the case of a car accident, a seat belt can help you avoid serious injury and even death and, in the state of Florida, it’s mandatory to wear a seat belt if you’re the driver or passenger of a car. The Florida seat belt laws state that:

  • Front seat passengers must wear seat belts in any car manufactured since 1968
  • All passengers younger than 18 must wear a seat belt or use a child car seat
  • The driver is responsible for buckling up child passengers
  • It is against the law to operate a vehicle if one or more of the passengers do not meet these standards

These seat belt laws apply to all cars, pickup trucks, and vans operated on Florida roads. The fine for breaking one of the regulations above can range from $30 to $60, not including court costs.

Data on Seat Belt Use in Florida

From 2007 to 2014, the percent of drivers and passengers wearing seat belts in Florida steadily increased. Below is the data for each year:

  • 2007: 79.1%
  • 2008: 81.7% (2.6% increase)
  • 2009: 85.2% (3.5% increase)
  • 2010: 87.4% (2.2% increase)
  • 2011: 88.1% (0.7% increase)
  • 2012: 87.4% (0.7% decrease)
  • 2013: 87.2% (0.2% decrease)
  • 2014: 88.8% (1.6% increase)

While the percentage decreased in both 2012 and 2013, there is a strong positive trend overall. Florida ranked on the lower end of seat belt use compared to other states, but that changed in 2014. The nationwide seat belt use rate was 87% in 2014, which Florida was nearly 2% above for that year.

Seat Belts Save Lives

Countless studies reveal that drivers and passengers are much more likely to be killed in a car accident if they are not wearing a seat belt. This is why almost every state in the U.S. requires that both drivers and passengers, whether adult or children, wear seat belts while in a motor vehicle. Have you received a ticket for not wearing a seat belt? Are you curious what you can do to help protect yourself and your passengers? Consider enrolling in our defensive driving course, which can be completed in person or online. Whether the court mandates that you take the course, you want to lower your insurance rates, or you want to strengthen your defensive driving skills, our defensive driving class can help.