Seat Belts And Rideshares: What You Should Know
Have you ever used a rideshare service? It is becoming increasingly popular as a way to get around without having to take advantage of public transportation options. It is also seen as a more affordable option when compared to taxicabs, and it is also more readily available in many cases.
Florida law requires that all front seat occupants wear a seat belt. But what does that mean for rideshares and seat belt usage? What do we need to know?
Seat Belt Usage
Currently, no law in Florida says that adults have to wear a safety belt while they are sitting in the back seat. For this reason, you will find many people who use rideshare services taking advantage of this, and they won't wear their seat belt while in the back seat. However, if you are under the age of 18 or you have your children with you, then they need to be using the proper restraints.
Did you know that approximately one-third of Americans actually don't buckle up when they use rideshare services? It has also been found that 28% of
Americans don't use seat belts when they ride in the back seat of a rideshare vehicle. Meanwhile, 9 in 10 Americans have also admitted that they don't buckle up at all when they are in their own car.
It has also been found that people are 18% less likely to wear their seat belt in rideshare vehicles compared to their own car. This has a lot to do with a person's perceived risk when it comes to riding in the front seat and the back.
Some feel that it is safer to ride in the back seat and therefore don't always think that a seat belt is necessary. However, unbuckled rear passengers are up to eight times more likely to be injured or killed in an auto collision.
Why You Should Wear A Seat Belt
Passengers may be three times more likely to die in a crash if they choose not to wear their seat belt. Even crash tests have shown that a passenger who fails to wear their safety belt in the back is more prone to fly up and over the seats in front of them.
Wearing a seat belt provides safety for everyone in the car, not just yourself. It can also keep you in place during an impact. Seat belts are designed to work with airbags, and they can significantly reduce your risk of serious injury and even death due to an auto collision.
Regardless of what the law may say, it is always going to be in your best interest to wear a seat belt. Many rideshare companies don't have specific policies in place when it comes to seat belt requirements, either. But rideshare drivers also reserve the right to require that all passengers in their vehicle buckle up before they move.
So even if you think you can remain unbuckled in the back seat of a rideshare vehicle because of what Florida law says, the driver still has the power to tell you to buckle up. Otherwise, you can leave their car and find another ride elsewhere.
Some rideshare companies even require that each driver's vehicle be equipped with at least five functional seatbelts, including the driver's.
The next time you get in a rideshare car, buckle up. It’s not only for your safety but also for the safety of the driver.