Washington Law Review


The first portion of this article will attempt to show that neither judicial nor legislative reluctance, nor its underlying reasoning, is justifiable in light of the current state of law and society. Substantial evidence will be presented to demonstrate the need for our society to adopt the seat belt habit and for the law to recognize and respond to this societal need. Reactions of courts and legislative bodies to suggestions of mandated use are then explored as a preliminary to an analysis of the common law basis for adoption of the seat belt rule. A careful explanation will then be presented regarding introduction and application of the seat belt rule under Washington's comparative negligence law. Finally, it is hoped that the article will be of use to legislators, judges and lawyers alike, not only in Washington, but in all jurisdictions contemplating changes in the law relating to the use and misuse of our "insolent chariots."

First Page