Wednesday, May 29th, 2024 Church Directory

Letters To The Editor

TO THE EDITOR:

In 1986 when seat belt laws were on the rise, only 33% of Minnesotans actually wore seatbelts.  As of October 2013, according to the Minnesota Dept. of Public Safety, Office of Traffic Safety, 94.8% wore them. This is a tremendous increase in seat belt use, but it is not enough.  
 
More than half of the motorists killed in car crashes are not belted.  This results in over 150 deaths and 400 serious injuries annually.  Yet, people continue to risk their lives by not buckling up.  Why is this?  
 
“I’m not going far and I won’t be going fast”.  This is actually the best time to wear a seat belt since the majority of crash fatalities occur within 25 miles of the home at speeds of less than 40 miles per hour.  
 
“I’m a good driver, it won’t happen to me.”  While you may be a good driver, you cannot control the actions of the drivers around you.  
 
“I’m afraid the belt will trap me in the car.”  Statistically speaking, the best place to be during a crash is inside your car.  For those of you, who would rather be thrown clear in a crash, think again. When you are ejected from the vehicle, you may be thrown through the windshield, scraped along the pavement, or possibly crushed by your vehicle or another.  In the cases when you need to get out of your vehicle in a hurry, such as a crash involving water submergence or fire (which only happens in ½ of one percent of all crashes) your best bet at getting out is if you remain conscious and uninjured.  
 
“Seatbelts are uncomfortable.”  Modern seat belts enable the strap to have some slack and only lock when the car suddenly stops.  In addition, most car dealerships sell belt extenders if the belt won’t fit around you. 
 
“My airbag will protect me.”  While air bags do provide frontal protection in the event of a crash, they do not help in side or rear impact, or rollover crashes.  Air bags were never meant to be used in place of safety belts.  
 
Seat belts are the most effective means of protecting oneself from injury or even death while riding in a vehicle, so stop making excuses and buckle up today!
 
Alyssa Wojack,
Sherburne County 
Attorney’s Office Intern
In support of the 
Sherburne County Safe Roads Coalition