Not Wearing Seatbelts Normalized on Screen

Inherent Bias  
Table Of Contents

Main Description

There are too many instances of this to properly track, but when you watch TV shows or movies take note if people wear seatbelts or not. It was far more common in the past to not have actors using seatbelts even when it was required by law. While it is less common to see transgressions today, there are still many incidents of actors not wearing seatbelts -- especially if the actor is depicted as rebellious which is a common trait used to create conflict.

How Trope is Biased


  • Seatbelts get in the way of filming. They cover actor's outfits and also takes valuable time watching someone put a seat belt on or take one off. So, there is a strong bias to not use them in Hollywood and studios have to make an effort to counter this bias and ensure actors wear seatbelts.
  • Characters are much more likely to be depicted as rebellious on screen as this is a common source of conflict, and you may notice rebellious types such as cops who don't follow the rules will avoid wearing seatbelts.

Conservative Biases

  • Republicans fought seat belt laws for years siding with special interests over their constituents' health.