why does almost every state have a law requiring drivers to use a seatbelt? public demand? hardly. first came the federal airbag (or “automatic” seatbelt) mandate. then came the deal: if enough states pass seatbelt laws, we’ll cancel the airbag mandate. US automakers spent millions lobbying successfully to get the laws passed to avoid the mandate. except then the government reneged on the deal: the airbag mandate went forward anyway. but now we’re also stuck with unnecessary and intrusive seatbelt laws.
even worse, though most were originally “secondary” offenses, meaning you could not be stopped for it, most are now “primary” offenses, meaning you can be pulled over for no other reason than not using a seatbelt, even if your vehicle has an airbag, though airbags supposedly perform better if the seatbelt is used.
obviously this is closely related to helmet laws: both are trying to enforce what should be a personal decision, and both should be revoked.