The modern automobile has come a long way since the first mass produced car came off the Oldsmobile line in Lansing, Michigan in 1902. There were no restraints of any kind, no seat belts, airbags, or back up sensors. Seat belts were just an option until 1958 when SAAB began putting them in all of their cars, the rest of the automotive world followed suit. In fact, the law states that every car manufactured after This is the single most important safety aspect of your vehicle and has saved millions of lives. Yet we still have people who don’t wear a safety belt. I was just in the car the other day with a friend who, I noticed, didn’t have his seat belt on. I quickly told him to buckle up or walk (we were just going around the corner). Buckling up is a no-brainer, and should be the first thing you do when you get in the car. I can point you to multiple studies done that prove that driving with a seat belt is a smart idea, but I shouldn’t have to.
Texas has recently changed the law regarding buckling up in the back seat of a vehicle. Previously, adults had the option of whether or not to wear their seat belt. This is no longer the case. All adults and children must be restrained when the vehicle is moving. I’ve heard plenty of excuses about how seat belts could trap you if there was a fire or the dismissal of seat belts because of air bags being widespread, but those are all bad reasons. In fact, airbags are designed to work in conjunction with your seat belts, they make your car safer if they are all working together.
When you get caught without your seat belt on, you’ll also get a nice ticket and fine to go with it. Here in Texas that’s about $$250, depending on where you are, plus court costs. If you get caught with a unrestrained child under 15 years old in the car, guess who gets the ticket. The driver does. Being vigilant about making all of your passengers buckle up is the only way to be.
There’s a lot of confusion regarding antique cars that did not have seat belt installed when they were manufactured. Here in Texas the law states:
A motor vehicle required by Chapter 548 to be inspected shall be equipped with front safety belts if safety belt anchorages were part of the manufacturer's original equipment on the vehicle
That means if the car didn’t have them when it was new then you are not required to. But let’s be honest, why wouldn’t you install seat belts? It’s the smart thing to do.
Check out this video and then visit your state’s Department of Transportation website to check your state’s seat belt laws.