Can the failure to wear a seat belt be admissible as evidence in automobile accident lawsuits?

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Pennsylvania’s current child passenger restraint laws require that any person operating a passenger car, truck, or motor home is obliged to fasten all children under four years of age in an approved child passenger restraint system. Whether the child is in the front or back seat or even in the cargo area, an approved restraint system must be used.

The law also requires that adult occupants in the front seat wear seat belts. Drivers can be fined $35 for failing to safely secure children, and front seat occupants without belts can be similarly fined. However, the statute provides that violation of its requirements is not admissible in evidence in auto accident lawsuits. Thus, if an automobile accident results in a lawsuit, neither party can argue that the other’s failure to wear a seat belt contributed to injuries.