If you take the time to read over Uber’s seatbelt policy, you may be surprised to learn that Uber does not require passengers to buckle up. Instead, strongly urges riders to buckle up, while also advising drivers to remind passengers that wearing a seatbelt if often required by state law.

In other words, just because you are riding in an Uber does not mean you have no requirement to wear a seatbelt. In the vast majority of states, passengers are still required by law to fasten that seatbelt for enhanced safety on the road.

Too Many Passengers Violate Seatbelt Laws

It is a commonly known fact that, according to the CDC, more than half of victims killed in car crashes were not restrained by a seatbelt at the time of their crash. However, this statistic does not focus on backseat passengers, which is the typical ride-share scenario for passengers who choose to ride with Uber.

According to The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the overwhelming majority of adults make the conscientious decision to avoid wearing a safety belt in the back seat. The survey found that 4 in 5 backseat passengers did not wear a seatbelt, with many citing a belief that the back seat is safer than riding in a vehicle’s front seat. This belief is factually untrue, as the laws of physics continue to apply whether you ride in the back or front seat of a vehicle.

Follow the State Law and Wear a Seatbelt

Regardless of what the law says, it is always in a rider’s best interests to wear a seatbelt. And, while Uber does not have a policy requiring a seatbelt, drivers themselves still reserve the right to require all passengers to buckle up before starting the ride.

For its part, California law requires the following of its vehicles, drivers and passengers:

  • All vehicles are required by law to have properly functioning seatbelts in the state of California
  • All motor vehicle operators must wear their seatbelt at all times
  • All passengers in excess of 8 years and who are 4 feet 9 inches or taller are also required to wear a safety belt

Effectively, every participant in an Uber ride, whether a driver or passenger, will have a legal requirement to wear a seatbelt in California. If you take an Uber with a child who is younger than 8 or shorter than 4 feet 9 inches, then that child is required to use a child safety seat.

Most states have similar laws on the books that are designed to keep passengers, drivers and small children safe. In the past few decades, it is generally understood that seatbelt use has saved hundreds of thousands of lives. Failing to buckle up in an Uber is a needless safety risk that no passenger or driver should view as acceptable.

For more information about legal liability in ride-sharing accidents, contact The Ledger Law Firm for a legal consultation to explore whether you are entitled to legal compensation for your injuries.

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