USA Today has an article on how states are increasingly requiring rear seat passengers to wear seat belts. This is the classic “brother’s keeper” v. individual rights issue. I fall into the former category on this subject as most Maryland accident lawyers do because they have seen what a projectile a person can become when launched from a back seat because they were not wearing their rear safety belt.
But what I found interesting about the USA today graph is the extent to which states don’t fall in line on this issue as you think they would. When I think of the West with a capital “W” I think of rugged individualism and a desire for self determinism on these kinds of things. But the opposite is true: the wild west seems to almost uniformly accept the idea that rear seat belts should be law. Why is this? I have no idea.
What I do know is that Maryland law needs to be changed to require all rear seat passengers to wear seat belts. At the risk of having every naysayer scream “slippery slope,” please remember we are requiring it for front seat passengers, we require helmets on motorcycles, and this law would make just as much sense.
- Walter Olson disagrees (I’m assuming, based on the title)
- Not many backseat passengers are wearing seat belts