Yes, believe it or not, up until 1984 there were absolutely no laws stating you needed to wear seat belts while riding or driving a car. That’s the year that a law that made it mandatory, I guess they finally thought it was a good idea.
I remember seeing commercials, everyone talking about it, and even seeing public service announcements like this one:
Up to that point, you could play in the back seat, jump over the seats to the back or even lay on the floor while the car was careening down the road. It was quite fun, but super dangerous.
The most ironic thing was, just because they passed the law it didn’t mean that every car even had seat belts! The law was just so new that I guess it took a while to enact.
I do remember riding in my grandparents’ car. They would just put up the arm rest and I would sit in middle fron bench seat with just no restraints. I’m surprised I’m still alive to tell the tale!