High ejection rate reported in rollover crashesAs statewide, increased Click It or Ticket seat belt enforcement rolls into its final weekend, new Department of Public Safety (DPS) Office of Traffic Safety data highlight a high ejection rate of unbelted motorists in rollover crashes.
As statewide, increased Click It or Ticket seat belt enforcement rolls into its final weekend, new Department of Public Safety (DPS) Office of Traffic Safety data highlight a high ejection rate of unbelted motorists in rollover crashes.
In Minnesota during 2009–2011, 81 percent (93) of the 114 unbelted motorists killed in rollover crashes were ejected from the vehicle. In contrast, of the motorists not injured or who suffered only minor injuries as a result of nearly 15,000 rollover crashes during this timeframe, 82 percent were buckled up.
“Rollover crashes are incredibly violent and made even more so when motorists aren’t buckled up,” says Donna Berger, director of the DPS Office of Traffic Safety. “In rollover crashes, an unbelted motorist is usually thrown from the vehicle, and in many cases, the vehicle rolls over the victim.”
Rollover crashes are caused by unstable fast turns or sharp changes of direction.
Click It or Ticket — The Final Weekend
The statewide and nationwide increased seat belt enforcement campaign concludes June 3. Results from the campaign that began May 21 will be announced in mid-June. In Minnesota, about 400 law enforcement agencies are increasing patrols along with 10,000 agencies nationwide in an effort to stop preventable deaths and injuries. Seat Belt Facts, 2009–2011:
· There were 878 motorist traffic deaths of which 377 (43 percent) were not buckled up.
· Of the 377 unbelted deaths, 179 (48 percent) of the victims were age 30 or younger.
· Of the 377 unbelted deaths, 300 (80 percent) occurred outside the seven-county Twin Cities’ area.
Primary Seat Belt Law — Saving Lives
The state’s primary seat belt law is saving lives, according to a University of Minnesota study released in March. The study reported the law has resulted in 68 fewer deaths, 320 fewer injuries and $45 million in avoided hospital charges since enacted nearly three years ago (June 2009).
The primary law requires passengers in all seating positions, including the back seat, to be buckled up or seated in the correct child restraint. Officers will stop and ticket unbelted drivers or passengers. Seat belts must be worn correctly — low and snug across the hips; shoulder straps should never be tucked under an arm or behind the back.
Keeping Kids Safe
The Click It or Ticket campaign also includes enforcement of Minnesota’s child passenger safety law which makes drivers responsible for ensuring children are riding in the correct child restraint:
· Rear-facing car seats — Use from birth and recommended up to age 2.
· Forward-facing car seats — From age 2 until child outgrows restraint.
· Booster seats — Upon outgrowing forward-facing restraint, use until age 8 or 4 feet 9 inches tall, whichever comes first. It is recommended to keep a child in a booster based on their height rather than age. Boosters raise children up so the seat belt properly fits them.
For more information on child passenger safety visit www.buckleupkids.mn.gov.