Wearing a seat belt is crucial, not only for your safety as a passenger or driver, but to protect your access to compensation. To increase your chances of recovery after a car accident, it’s important to understand Alabama’s seat belt laws.
Most people have to wear a seat belt in Alabama. That includes most passengers and drivers, regardless of their age. Failure to wear a seat belt might result in fines, even if you are the victim of a car accident. That said, the most severe consequence might be the impact that failure to wear a seat belt might have on your compensation claim. Alabama is a pure contributory negligence state, meaning victims injured when they were not wearing a seat belt may be barred from recovery. To prevent this from happening, be sure to wear a seat belt at all times in Alabama.
We’re here to help Alabama car accident victims recover what they deserve. For a free case evaluation with the Alabama car accident lawyers at Howe Law, call today at (844) 876-4357.
What Are Alabama’s Seat Belt Laws?
In Alabama, nearly everyone has to wear a seat belt. This is the case regardless of age or position in the car. Understanding Alabama’s seat belt laws is important, so drivers and passengers stay protected while driving throughout the state.
The Alabama Safety Belt Act of 1991 was amended fairly recently. While previously only certain people were required to wear a seat belt in Alabama, now almost everyone must do so, according to Ala. Code § 32-5B-4(a)(1).
There are exceptions to this rule for those who cannot wear seat belts for medical reasons and have written approval from a doctor. Certain mail carriers in Alabama also aren’t required to wear seat belts, nor are persons with passenger car models made before 1965. These exceptions are relatively rare and don’t apply to most drivers and passengers in Alabama.
If you’re unsure whether the state’s seat belt laws apply to you, ask our Alpharetta car accident lawyers for clarification. As a general rule, you must wear a seat belt as a passenger or driver. Children that meet the necessary criteria may also have to ride in an approved car seat or booster seat. Adhering to Alabama’s seat belt laws is important so that you stay protected while driving.
Can You Be Fined for Not Wearing a Seat Belt in Alabama?
There can be legal consequences for not wearing a seat belt in Alabama. Failure to wear a seat belt might result in fines and penalties that increase in severity with each violation. To avoid consequences for not wearing a seat belt in Alabama, be sure to click it yours into place before you start driving.
Adult Drivers and Passengers
Like in many states, failure to wear a seat belt is considered a secondary violation in Alabama. You can’t be pulled over just for not wearing a seat belt. According to Ala. Code § 32-5B-4(a)(2), police officers in Alabama must make a lawful traffic stop for a primary violation before addressing a secondary violation for failure to wear a seat belt. For example, a police officer might pull a driver over for speeding and then notice that they are unbelted. The initial fine for not wearing a seat belt in Alabama is $25. A second violation for not wearing a seat belt might result in a $50 fine in Alabama.
Exempt Drivers and Passengers
Children exempt from Alabama’s seat belt laws do not have to pay a fine. Neither do others exempt from wearing a seat belt in Alabama, like certain mail carriers and others with medical exemptions.
Car Accident Victims
Car accident victims are not exempt from getting fined for not wearing a seat belt in Alabama. Should you be fined, there will be a record of it, most likely in the police report for your car accident. This may negatively impact your ability to recover compensation, which is why calling our Birmingham car accident lawyers immediately after a crash is important. Remember, although you are a victim, you can still be fined for not wearing a seat belt in Alabama.
What Might Happen When Alabama Car Accident Victims Don’t Wear Seat Belts?
Wearing a seat belt while driving in Alabama is crucial. Seat belts are important safety devices that can protect victims during a car accident. Because wearing a seat belt in Alabama is required by law, failure to do so might negatively impact your compensation claim. Reach out to our Alabama car accident lawyers after a crash to prevent that from happening.
When car accident victims in Alabama do not wear a seat belt, they might sustain more serious injuries. According to the Alabama Department of Health, someone dies in the United States every hour because they were not wearing a seat belt. Wearing a seat belt can prevent victims from avoidable injuries, like those that might occur from impacting a windshield during a crash. Though car accident victims might still sustain severe injuries when wearing a seat belt, certain injuries are avoidable when drivers and passengers take the proper safety measures. Wearing a seat belt is important for your safety as a driver and passenger in Alabama.
Alabama is a pure contributory negligence state. Few states abide by this system, which mandates that car accident victims who contributed to their injuries in any way cannot recover compensation against a negligent driver. So, if you were recently injured in a car accident in Alabama and were not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash, you may be barred from recovery if wearing a seat belt could have prevented your injuries. Our Biloxi car accident lawyers can explain how the state’s contributory negligence laws might affect your access to compensation so that you understand the importance of wearing a seat belt at all times as a passenger or driver.
Call Our Lawyers About Your Alabama Car Accident Today
If you were recently injured in a car accident in Alabama, our attorneys can help. For a free case evaluation with the Alabama car accident lawyers at Howe Law, call today at (844) 876-4357.