Just ‘click it’ already [UPDATED]Published 9:57am Wednesday, October 9, 2013 Updated 11:58am Wednesday, October 9, 2013
Law enforcement agencies all over Minnesota have ramped up seat belt enforcement in October, and there’s nothing wrong with that. There is really no excuse for driving or riding without wearing a seatbelt. For the safety of everyone on Minnesota roads, we encourage drivers and passengers to click it every time.
Otter Tail County is still ranked third highest in Minnesota for teen driving fatalities. Only Hennepin and Dakota counties saw more teen driving fatalities from 2008 to 2012. In that time period, Otter Tail County recorded six teen driving deaths, and in all six cases, the teens were not wearing a seatbelt.
Seat belts can save lives, but they can also be the difference between a bad day and a bad day that includes a trip to the hospital. According to the Department of Public Safety, drivers and passengers are six times more likely to be injured in a motor vehicle accident if they fail to buckle up.
“It’s uncomfortable,” “I forgot,” “I didn’t have time,” “I was only driving a couple blocks,” “I shouldn’t be told what to do in my own car” —these are nothing more than cheap excuses.
It should be an automatic reaction to buckle up when getting in a car, even as a passenger. Unbuckled occupants in a vehicle can quickly become projectiles in a crash situation, putting others at risk.
Driving is one of the most dangerous activities most people do on a regular basis, and it’s easy to become numb to the fact that at 55, 60 or 70 miles-per-hour, it doesn’t take much for something to go very wrong.
Most consider themselves a “safe driver,” but when that deer jumps out of the ditch, or that minivan runs a stop sign or that drunk driver swerves too far across the center line, safety is often left up to the preventative measures taken.
After knowing the numbers and hearing the horror stories of lost loved ones, everybody should know better than to drive anywhere without a seat belt, but the boosted enforcement on Minnesota roads is a good reminder to all that seat belts should always be used when driving or riding in a vehicle.