INDICE DE GALERIAS
KIMT News 3 - Accidents happen, and there is no telling when or where they can occur.
If you ever find yourself in this situation, being buckled up can mean the difference between life and death.
It seems more people are doing this behind the wheel, and in doing so, more lives are being saved across north Iowa and Minnesota.
It is a question you have probably been asked before. Do you wear your seat belt?
“Yes,” said Archie Anderson of Iowa Falls.
“All the time,” said Viola O’Connor of Austin.
That answer is becoming more and more common in our area, even though their reasons may vary.
“My wife kind of made me start doing it. It's kind of ridiculous not to put it on,” Anderson said.
“I had a scary incident a couple of weeks ago. If I didn't have a seat belt on I would have been in big trouble,” O’Connor said.
That is the thought process law enforcement wants everyone to have and according to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, people do.
Their annual seat belt use survey shows a nearly 95 percent seat belt use rate. That is up more than 15 percent from 2003.
“I think it's education as far as some of the driving schools some of the younger guys and girls are going to and there have been a lot more crashes involved where people have been seriously hurt or killed that seat belt's played a role in. I'm thinking people are starting to figure that out,” said Sgt. Tim Bennett of the Freeborn County Sheriff’s Office.
As the numbers show, most travelers say they wear their seat belt always, but some are a little more inconsistent. One person said that they wear it when they are driving, but not always when they are the passenger.
That is okay in Iowa if they are sitting in the backseat and over the age of 18, but otherwise in Iowa and Minnesota they must wear a seat belt.
“The last few year, about five, it's been about the same. We're at about a 92.3 percent compliance rating. I think the highest we've been is approximately 93.4 percent,” said Trooper Keith Duenow of the Iowa State Patrol.
In both Iowa and Minnesota, they know they have come a long way.
“That's a very good number, I believe it was 2006 when we hit 90 percent for the first time and anything we can do to help limit the traffic fatalities is a great thing for us,” Duenow said.
They know there is always room to improve until they hit 100 percent.
“I just wish everyone would get in the habit of wearing one,” O’Connor said.
While the number of people wearing their seat belts is on the rise, the Minnesota Department of Public safety said they want to see the number of unbelted deaths go down. There are still more than 100 people killed each year in accidents while not wearing a seat belt.
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