Wearing a seatbelt is one of the simplest and most effective ways to stay safe on the road. Despite this, many drivers and passengers continue disregarding this basic safety measure. Many of them regret doing so. Vehicle occupants who don’t wear seatbelts can suffer horrible injuries. Not only do these injuries lead to excruciating pain, but they can also result in debilitating mental trauma. Reduce these issues and more. Wear a seatbelt.
If you’ve suffered a severe injury in a car wreck that wasn’t your fault, the attorneys with Sand Law are ready to fight for your rights. Schedule a free consultation by calling 651-291-7263 or contacting us online.
Not only is wearing a seatbelt intelligent, but it’s also the law in Minnesota. This article will discuss five reasons to wear a seatbelt in Minnesota. You’ll learn how doing so can help you avoid serious injury or death, avoid penalties and fines, and increase the chances of a successful car accident claim.
1. To Prevent Being Ejected During a Crash
No matter the type of car accident a driver gets involved in, a seatbelt can mean the difference between life and death. One of the most important reasons to wear a seatbelt in Minnesota is to prevent being ejected from the vehicle during a crash.
According to a 2004 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration analysis, 74 percent of drivers and passengers died when ejected from their cars. While 29% of unrestrained occupants were ejected, this happened to only 1% of those wearing a seatbelt.
2. To Prevent Severe Facial Injury
Another reason to wear a seatbelt is to prevent severe facial injuries. In a crash, an unrestrained passenger or driver can be thrown forward and hit their head on the steering wheel, dashboard, or windshield. This can cause severe facial injuries, such as broken teeth, jaw fractures, and eye injuries. This type of injury is painful, and disfigurement can lead to severe emotional distress.
Wearing a seatbelt can help prevent these injuries by keeping the body securely in place and preventing the head from striking hard surfaces.
3. They Reduce the Risk of Serious Injury and Death by 40 to 60%
The effectiveness of seatbelts in reducing the risk of serious injury or death can’t be overstated. According to the Minnesota Safety Council, seatbelts reduce the risk of serious injury and death in car accidents by 40 to 60 percent. This means that wearing a seatbelt is one of the most effective ways to stay safe on the road and dramatically reduces the chances of being seriously injured or killed in an accident.
It’s almost incredible that people still don’t buckle up when entering a vehicle. However, the number of unbelted occupants is on the rise. In 2019, 73 people who weren’t wearing seatbelts died in Minnesota car wrecks. That number rose to 100 in 2020 and then 108 in 2021.
4. You’ll Avoid Pricey Fines and Other Penalties
In Minnesota, not wearing a seatbelt can result in a costly fine and other penalties. Under Minnesota law, drivers and passengers must always wear seatbelts while the vehicle is in motion. Violating this law carries a $25 fine, but the price can escalate to $100 with fees.
It only takes a couple of seconds to put on a seatbelt. It also doesn’t take long to get used to doing so. Getting into this habit might not only save you a significant amount of money, but it could also save your life.
5. They Work in Tandem With Airbags
Seatbelts work in tandem with airbags to provide maximum protection in a crash. Airbags deploy and help cushion the impact of the collision. However, airbags are only effective when used in conjunction with seatbelts.
In fact, airbags can cause more harm than good if the passenger or driver isn’t restrained. This is because airbags deploy with great force. They can cause serious injuries if a seatbelt does not securely restrain the body.
Will Not Wearing a Seatbelt in Minnesota Damage My Claim?
If you’re involved in a car accident in Minnesota and were not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash, it can have a significant impact on your claim. Insurance companies will often use this as evidence of negligence on your part. They may use it as a reason to deny your claim or reduce the amount of compensation you are entitled to receive.
The insurer could argue that your injuries wouldn’t have been nearly as severe if you had been using a seatbelt. They might claim you wouldn’t have been hurt at all. This is because not wearing a seatbelt is a violation of Minnesota law and is considered a contributing factor to the injuries sustained in the accident.
However, it’s important to note that not wearing a seatbelt does not automatically mean that you are at fault for the accident. This is because Minnesota follows the comparative negligence rule. This means that if you’re found to be partially at fault for the accident, the court may reduce your compensation in proportion to your level of fault.
For example, suppose you have $100,000 in damages. If the crash investigation shows you were 30% at fault, instead of receiving $100,000, you’d receive $70,000.
If you weren’t wearing a seatbelt, you may still be entitled to compensation for your injuries and other damages. The amount you receive may be reduced based on your level of fault.
Contact Sand Law to Discuss Your Potential Car Accident Claim
Whether or not you were wearing a seatbelt, it’s essential to speak with an experienced car accident attorney as soon as possible. A skilled attorney can help in a lot of ways. Your attorney will negotiate with insurers and make sure you know your rights. They’ll also fight for the compensation you deserve.
At Sand Law, we have years of experience representing clients in car accident cases and have a proven track record of success. We understand the importance of wearing a seatbelt and how it can impact your claim. We’ll work passionately to ensure that you receive the maximum amount of compensation possible. Contact us online or call 651-291-7263 for a free case evaluation.