This Georgia personal injury attorney welcomes a new bill that has just been passed by the Georgia Senate. The bill will extend mandatory seat belt laws to occupants of pickup trucks. The law currently exempts drivers of pickup trucks from having to buckle up at all times.
This moment has been a long-time coming. Injury lawyers in Atlanta and auto safety groups have been pushing for a law like this for years now. There have been several near misses in the past when the bill came close to being passed.
Experts estimate that the lack of mandatory seat belt laws for pickup truck drivers in Georgia contributes to approximately 67% of all pickup truck-related deaths in the state. These are lives that could have been saved had the state moved to make buckling up compulsory for occupants of pickup trucks. Other estimates place Georgia's savings from Medicaid costs alone at about $25 million over a period of 10 years, once the bill goes into effect.
seat belt use is the single biggest factor responsible for a decline in highway fatality rates over the past few years. The national rate of seat belt use is more than 84%, with Georgia's rates hovering at around 89% which is much better than the national average, but much lower than in states like California and Washington where the seat belt use rate is more than 95%.You can increase your chances of surviving an accident merely by buckling up. More lives will be saved once this bill becomes law.