If you are like many other motorists in Tennessee and across the nation, you may put your seat belt on as soon as you get into your car. For many people, this practice has become a ritual and as a result, many lives have been saved. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you can reduce your risk of dying in an automobile accident by nearly half just by wearing your seat belt.

Unfortunately, there are still people who fail to buckle up when they get behind the wheel. Teenagers are one of the largest populations of people who do not wear their seat belts, as reported by the CDC. Approximately 55 percent of teenagers who were killed in motor vehicle accidents in 2012 were not wearing their seat belts at the time of the collision. This may be due to the fact that a number of teenagers are simply inexperienced and unaware of the importance of buckling up.

Many states, including Tennessee, have primary or secondary laws regarding seat belt use. Wearing a seat belt is a primary law in the state, which means that a law officer can pull you over and issue you a ticket for not wearing your seat belt. Secondary laws, on the other hand, prohibit officers from ticketing drivers for not wearing seat belts unless they have committed another traffic offense. Although new vehicles come equipped with the latest safety technology, seat belts remain one the easiest ways to remain safe while on the road.

This information is intended to educate and should not be taken as legal advice.