For the fourth year in a row, the number of road fatalities has decreased in Minnesota as a result of drivers wearing their seat belts and choosing not to drink and drive. However, Minnesota drivers still need to be cautious about driving distractions, excessive speeds and failing to yield, which were at the top of the list of factors contributing to vehicle crashes in 2011. Though many Minnesota drivers are making good choices, constant vigilance is the key to reducing those numbers and keeping them low.
Drinking and Driving
While statistics show more Minnesota drivers are choosing not to drink and drive, drinking and driving is still a serious problem throughout the United States. Drivers with a high blood alcohol content (BAC) are more likely to be in and cause accidents than drivers with a minimal or zero BAC. The average BAC for drunk drivers in the U.S. is .16, which is twice the legal limit for most states. While the percentage of drivers with a BAC of .15 or above is low, the percentage of fatal accidents caused by those with a .15 BAC is much higher than drivers with a low BAC.
Wearing Your Seatbelt
Many people do not understand the importance of wearing their seatbelt. More than fifty percent of those killed in car crashes are not wearing their seatbelt. Ninety percent of those killed while in the back seat were not buckled. During an accident, seatbelts help keep you from being ejected from the vehicle or thrown out of your seat. Unbelted passengers, from both the front seat and back seat, can be thrown into each other, causing injury or death to other passengers. Children who are not belted also can be a distraction for the driver, sometimes causing an accident.
Unfortunately, whenever we choose to drive from one place to another, we are at the mercy of the other drivers on the road. When someone chooses to drive drunk or allows unbelted passengers to distract them, the risk of being in or causing an accident is increased.
If you or someone you love has been injured or killed because of someone else’s negligent behavior, you need experienced lawyers who know the laws and are willing to fight for your rights. Schwebel, Goetz & Sieben is a Minnesota law firm with years of experience helping individuals and families who have been involved in car accidents. Call for a free consultation: 612-377-7777 or toll free at 1-800-752-4265.