As often as I've written content about the nature of driving in Michigan, it should be a foregone conclusion that you and everyone you know should absolutely wear a seatbelt every time you get in a vehicle. When it comes to driving, the game is "control what you can control" - and you can't control other drivers.

On top of that, Michigan is one of many states across the country where police can pull you over and ticket you solely for not wearing your seatbelt. Not only does wearing your seatbelt keep you safe, but it keeps your wallet from sustaining unnecessary bumps and bruises too.

According to a study from Michigan State University via The Detroit News, Michigan seatbelt usage has been on a steady decline over the past several years. In 2023, 92.4% of Michigan drivers and front-seat passengers were buckled up, a decline from 92.9% last year.

The study concludes that 10 more fatalities and 100 more serious injuries are a result of every 1% drop in seat belt usage.

The Office of Highway Safety Planning told The Detroit News that of the 1,123 car crash fatalities in 2022, 223 were drivers and front-seat passengers not wearing a seat belt.

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Still, and it may come as a surprise to some, there are actually a handful of reasons that you or others on the road may be exempt from wearing a seatbelt. Each circumstance is rather unique, and none are as simple as saying wearing the seat belt is uncomfortable or inconvenient.

Sorry, if you "forgot", you're still getting a ticket. In most of the circumstances listed below, the conditions to opt out of wearing a seat belt are safe enough to warrant the exception.

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