Indiana Seat Belt Laws and Child Restraint Requirements
In the state of Indiana seat belt laws provide that all occupants of a vehicle must be properly restrained while the vehicle is moving. There are very few exceptions to this law, and even stricter laws regarding the proper restraint methods for children under 7 years of age.
When you have been involved in an Indianapolis car accident, the proper use of seat belts and child restraints can have a critical impact on your potential personal injury claim. Showing you sustained injury even with proper restraints is an important element of your evidence. An Indianapolis personal injury attorney can assist you in using this sort of evidence in filing and settling your claim.
Indiana Seat Belt Laws save Lives in Indianapolis Car Accidents
Studies on traffic accidents show that the use of seat belts and child restraints save more lives in serious injury crashes than crashes involving unrestrained occupants. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that over 13,000 lives were saved due to the proper use of seat belts in 2008. Estimates show that an additional 320 lives could have been saved in Indianapolis car accidents alone if more residents used seat belts. Currently, Indiana's seat belt usage is at a healthy 92.6% but can always be improved.
The state of Indiana imposed laws that require all motor vehicle passengers to wear a seat belt or be placed in a restraining device when the vehicle is in motion. Violations of these laws can result in fines of $25 for occupants 16 and older. Indiana is also one of many states running the Click It or Ticket program, an annual 5-week crackdown on improper seat belt use.
Indiana Seat Belt Laws and Children
The Indiana seat belt laws are different for children under 7-years-old. All passengers under 7 years of age must be in a child safety restraint appropriate for their age, height, and weight. Infants must be in an infant child safety seat, while toddlers and young children may be either in a booster seat or an adult seat belt adapter. Use of an adult safety belt is required for children ages 8 and up.
Children under the age of 16 cannot personally be held liable for not being properly restrained. The driver of the vehicle may be charged in some cases if their under 16 passenger is not properly restrained. Children age 12 and younger are also required to be seated in the back of the vehicle rather than the front seat.
Indiana also has the Indiana Buckle Up Bug program to help promote child safety restraint use. The program teaches children in grades K-3 about seat belt safety when in an Indianapolis car accident and helps encourage them to "bug" their family to follow Indiana seat belt laws as well.
Age Matters for Indiana Seat Belt Laws and Child Safety Restraints
The following child groups have specific child safety restraints and seat positions required for proper protections:
- Infants under 20 lbs., up to 1 year old - infant-only, rear-facing safety seat in the back seat.
- Children 20-30 lbs., less than 1 year old - convertible seat, rear-facing in the back seat.
- Children 20-40 lbs., 1-4 years old - convertible or booster seat, forward-facing in the back seat.
- Children under 4'9" tall, 4-8 years - belt-positioning seat belt harness or high-back belt-positioning booster seat, seated in the back seat.
Before purchasing any type of child safety restraint check the product information for age, height and weight restrictions and recommendations. By using child safety restraints that are weight and height appropriate you can minimize the chances of serious injury in an Indianapolis car accident.
A Helping Hand from an Indianapolis Personal Injury Attorney
Following a serious Indianapolis car accident, you should be able to focus on recovery from your injuries, and not spend your time dealing with insurance companies. While you focus on healing, let an Indianapolis personal injury attorney assist you on negotiating your settlement with the insurance company. You can relax and recover knowing that your case is being handled with a professional attorney experienced with the tactics of insurance claims adjusters.
The personal injury attorneys at Hensley Legal Group P.C. have helped Indiana residents settle many types of personal injury cases. From car accidents to surgical errors, if you or a loved one has suffered serious injury because of the negligence of another, we are here to help. Order a copy of our complimentary Consumer's Guide for Injured Victims to learn more about your personal injury case. Contact us today for a no-cost consultation - 888-505-8232.