MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minnesota Department of Public Safety says that 15 unbuckled drivers died in October — the deadliest month of the year so far for people not wearing seat belts.
Lt. Eric Roeske of the State Patrol says surveys have found some population groups are averse to buckling up.
“Most often, surveys indicate that we’re seeing…teens and young adults and those in greater Minnesota less likely to buckle up,” he said.
In 2012 so far, 87 unbuckled motorists have died in crashes. All 15 October unbelted deaths were outside the seven-county metro area.
“At the end of the day, what we want folks to do is wear their seat belts, because it’s the most important thing to do to protect yourself,” Roeske said.
He said the deaths are unfortunate, because most cars are now made with safety innovations. The innovations, however, don’t work if those in the car aren’t belted, and are thrown from the vehicle.
The news comes following a statewide “Click It or Ticket” seat belt enforcement campaign, during which 8,569 motorists were cited for not wearing seat belts. The campaign ran from Oct. 12–Oct. 26.
The Public Safety Department recently announced Minnesota’s statewide seat belt use rate is a record-high: 93.6 percent.