What Are Mississippi’s Seat Belt Laws?Seatbelts help save lives and reduce the risk of serious injury. While they may seem like an inconvenience, when accidents happen, seatbelts help prevent the occupants of the car from flying into other parts of the car such as the windshield. Seatbelts help keep passengers in the car instead of being ejected onto the hard asphalt which is usually deadly.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), seatbelts saved nearly 15,000 lives in 2017. “Of the 37,133 people killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2017, 47% were not wearing seat belts.” Drivers and passengers shouldn’t rely on airbags alone. The NHTSA states that airbags alone can be fatal or cause serious injuries. The combination of a seatbelt and an airbag provides more protection.

The seat belts laws for Mississippi

Mississippi state law requires that every driver and every passenger must wear a properly fastened seatbelt. There are limited exceptions for:

  • Vehicles that are registered as farm vehicles such as farm tractors
  • A person who has a written verification from their doctor that he/she can’t wear a seat belt for medical reasons
  • Rural letter carriers for the US postal service
  • Utility meter readers – while on duty
  • Buses

Seat belt laws for children

Mississippi has separate laws governing the requirement of parents and guardians to use special restraint seats for young children.

Mississippi statute, § 63-7-301 provides that:

  • Children less than four years old who are passengers in motor vehicles operated or public roads within Mississippi must be protected by the driver through the proper use of a child passenger restraint system which meets the “applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards.”
  • The person transporting the child is required to use a “belt positioning booster seat system meeting applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards:
    • If the child is between four and seven years of age
    • And the child is less than 4 feet, 9 inches tall or weighs less than 65 pounds.
  • If two or more children are required to use a booster seat – at the same time- and “the vehicle only has two lap and shoulder belts in the rear seat, then only the two children sitting in the seats with the lap and shoulder belts are required to use a belt positioning booster seat system and safety belt, and any other children may be secured with a safety seat lap belt only.”

There are additional requirements for infants and toddlers. Children who are under two years (or who meet the seat manufacturer’s height or weight requirements) should be placed in rear-facing seats. Toddlers and preschoolers should use forward-facing car seats that have a harness until they reach the seat manufacturer’s height or weight limits.

As a rule, children under 13 should ride in the back seat. Owners should read the manufacturer’s seat instructions and the owner’s manual.

Car accidents can happen for many reasons. Wearing a seatbelt and ensuring that children are properly secured helps save lives. When car accidents do occur, our Southaven car accident lawyers fight to hold all accountable parties liable. At Taylor Jones Taylor, we demand compensation for the medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering of all victims. We also file wrongful death cases when tragedy takes a loved one’s life. Our car accident lawyers fight for victims and families in Olive Branch, Southaven, Hernando, and other areas throughout Mississippi. To discuss your rights, call us today at 662.342.1300 or complete our contact form.