Road safety is a serious issue in Texas. One of the easiest ways to keep safe behind the wheel is to wear a seatbelt. While most Texans understand the importance of buckling up, there is often confusion about Texas’ seatbelt laws. 

This includes whether backseat passengers have to wear a seatbelt in Houston. At Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers, our Houston car accident lawyers know Texas traffic laws and can set the record straight.

Understanding Seatbelt Laws in Houston, Texas

Texas law is clear when it comes to seatbelt use. Under Texas Transportation Code Section 545.413, occupants of a vehicle are required to wear a seatbelt. This includes the driver, all front-seat passengers, and all backseat passengers. It also applies regardless of how old the driver or passengers may be.

However, there are some exceptions in certain situations. For example, a passenger may not need to wear a seatbelt if they have a written note from a doctor stating they should not do so for a medical reason. 

People in certain professions, such as United States postal workers, newspaper delivery drivers, and garbage collectors, are also excused. If you believe you qualify for one of these exemptions, it is important to understand how it may apply.

Penalties and Fines for Seatbelt Violations in Houston, Texas

By default, everyone must wear a seat belt in Houston, Texas. Violators caught without a seatbelt will be criminally liable and fined. If you are over 15 years old, the state law makes you personally liable for not wearing your seatbelt. 

You may also be liable for failing to ensure that everyone in your vehicle, including minors, is wearing a seatbelt. Fines imposed will range from $25 to $250 for repeat offenders.

The Importance of Seatbelt Use for Backseat Passengers Houston

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), most Americans wear seatbelts on the road. Over 91 percent of Americans reported wearing seatbelts in 2022. This is one of the safest choices you can make to improve your safety behind the wheel. 

The National Safety Council estimated seatbelts have saved 374,276 lives from 1975 to 2017 – and even more today. They have helped reduce the severity of injuries in accidents, including brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and broken bones.

In personal injury cases arising from auto accidents in Houston, failing to wear a seatbelt can have significant legal implications. This is because Texas law requires all occupants to wear a seatbelt. 

If you fail to wear your seatbelt and become involved in an accident, it can impact your ability to recover damages. Texas follows a modified comparative fault system, and a person who is found to be partially at fault for their injuries has their ability to recover compensation reduced proportionally. They can also be barred from recovering any compensation at all if they are found mostly at fault.

But how might this impact a Houston car accident claim? Suppose a backseat passenger in Houston, Texas, is injured in a car accident and not wearing a seatbelt. In this case, it may be argued that doing so contributed to their injuries or their severity. 

This could lead to reduced compensation and make it more difficult for them to recover financially. This shows how failing to wear a seatbelt puts your physical safety and legal rights at risk after an accident.

Schedule a Free Consultation With a Houston Car Accident Lawyer Today

Texas law requires all occupants in a vehicle, including backseat passengers, to wear seatbelts. This law is focused on promoting safety for drivers and passengers on Texas roadways. Every day, seatbelts save lives and reduce the severity of accident injuries. 

If you or a loved one are involved in an auto accident, whether you had a seatbelt on can significantly impact your case. For more information, contact the Houston personal injury law firm by calling (713) 500-5000

Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers

3120 Southwest Freeway, Suite 350
Houston, TX 77098
United States

Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers – East Fwy
11811 East Fwy, Suite 630-06
Houston, TX 77029
United States

Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers – South Loop

2600 S Loop W, Suite 293
Houston, TX 77054
United States