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October is Deadliest Month in Minnesota for Vehicle Occupants without Seat Belts

December 2012

Local news agencies just reported that October was the deadliest month for unbelted drivers in Minnesota. Based on data from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, at least 15 unbelted motorists and vehicle occupants died during the month of October. So far, 87 unbelted motorists died in Minnesota this year because they were not properly restrained.

This report shows that many drivers take deadly risks on a daily basis despite an aggressive "Click It or Ticket" campaign that was active throughout the month. Law enforcement personnel issued more than 8,500 tickets in October to drivers who weren’t wearing a seat belt or didn’t follow child-restraint laws. Although this represents a decrease from past years, drivers are not doing enough to protect themselves and their passengers. Over the past few years, hundreds of Minnesota drivers have gambled by not wearing seat belts and have lost their lives. Many others have suffered serious injuries that could have been prevented or lessened by seat belts, airbags and other safety features.

Seat belts are particularly useful in rollover crashes and other violent accidents where occupants can be ejected if they aren’t wearing seat belts. According to the Minnesota Office of Traffic Safety, a record 93 percent of motorists use their seat belts, but officials say that it’s not enough. More than half of all fatal crashes involve drivers or passengers who were not using their seat belts. This equates to 150 deaths and 400 serious injuries that could have been prevented. In addition to saving lives, seat belts make airbags and other safety systems more effective. Furthermore, a seat belt violation carries a fine that exceeds $100, but many motorists pay with their lives. Representatives from the Office of Traffic Safety said that many drivers are still willing to take the extreme risk of not using their seat belts.

If you or someone you know has been injured in an auto accident, contact an experienced attorney immediately. The Minneapolis personal injury lawyers at Schwebel, Goetz & Sieben specialize in recovering medical expenses and damages for people who have been injured by reckless or negligent drivers. To get the compensation that you deserve, call (612) 377-7777 or toll free at (800) 752-4265 for a free consultation today.

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