The Importance of Buckling Up in Alaska

Maintain safety and follow the law by always fastening your seat beltEvery vehicle occupant in Alaska is required to wear the proper type of safety restraint for their age. Alaska Statute 28.05.095 specifies the state’s requirements regarding seat belts and child safety devices. Drivers are responsible for ensuring that passengers are properly restrained, and they will be fined $15 per person for every individual over the age of 16 who fails to buckle up. If a passenger under 16 years of age doesn’t use the proper restraint systems required by Alaska law, the driver may be fined up to $50. It is possible, however, to have this citation dismissed. To do so, the driver must provide proof of purchase or acquisition, and installation, of an approved child safety device within 30 days of the issuance of the citation.

Alaska has a primary seat belt law, enacted in 2006. This means that officers are permitted to stop and cite a driver for failing to wear a seatbelt, even if he has committed no other offense. Prior to the passage of this law, failure to wear a seatbelt was a secondary violation. Therefore, officers could stop motorists only if they observed a different violation first.

Failure to Wear a Seatbelt

If you’re injured in an accident and you weren’t wearing your seatbelt, the driver responsible for your injuries may attempt to use your lack of seatbelt use as a defense to reduce his liability. He will likely argue that your compensation should be reduced by the amount of damages that would have been avoided had you buckled up. This notion is consistent with Alaska’s comparative negligence theory, whereby your damages award may be reduced if you’re partly responsible for any injuries you’ve sustained in an accident.

You Need an Attorney

If you’ve been injured in a vehicle accident, you need an experienced attorney to help you get the compensation you deserve. If you weren’t wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident, your lawyer can fight any efforts to reduce the value of your claim. To learn more, contact the Law Office of Ben Crittenden, P.C., by using the form on this page.