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Seat Belts

Buckle Up, Minnesota!

A record percentage of Minnesotans buckle up — 94 percent — yet each year more than half of the motorists killed in crashes aren’t belted — translating to more than 150 deaths and more than 400 serious injuries annually.

In rollover crashes, unbelted motorists are usually ejected from the vehicle — in most cases, the vehicle will rollover them. In less severe crashes, an unbelted motorist will crack teeth out on the steering wheel or break their nose, and even slam into and injure others in the vehicle.

Seat belts restrain motorists in the vehicle’s designed protective space, giving them room to live in the event of a crash. Seat belts also keep a motorist correctly positioned behind the wheel to help maintain control of a vehicle.


Minnesota’s Primary Seat Belt Law

Drivers and passengers in all seating positions must be buckled up or in the correct child restraint. Law enforcement will stop and ticket unbelted drivers or passengers — including those in the back. A seat belt violation can cost more than $100.

Seat belt enforcement of this law begins with the motorist — speak up and insist passengers are buckled up.


Seat Belt Use Safety Tips

  • Always buckle up — and insist passengers are belted, too. In a crash, unbelted motorists can slam into and injure or kill others inside a vehicle.

  • Wear lap belts low and snug across the hips; shoulder straps should never be tucked under an arm or behind the back — not only is this unsafe, it is illegal.

  • Children under age 13 should always ride in the back seat. Kids under 4-feet 9-inches should be in a booster seat. Learn more about the child passenger safety and the booster seat law.   

  • Pregnant women should wear the lap belt under the stomach, as low on the hips as possible and against the upper thighs. The shoulder belt should rest between the breasts.

  • Airbags are designed to work with seat belts to keep vehicle occupants in a safe position during a crash — airbags are not effective when the motorist is not belted.