65-percent of North Dakota's traffic fatalities involve someone who's not
wearing a seatbelt. And while six-percent of North Dakota's driving population is in
the age group 14-19, that age group's involved in 20-percent of North Dakota's
Safety Director Mark Nelson of the state Department of Transportation says
motorists ought to wear their seatbelts to protect themselves and their occupants.
Nelson tells KXPO a vehicle's safety features are designed to keep you inside. If
you don't buckle up, all those safety features are ineffective. Once you don't wear
the seatbelt, you're at the mercy of going out the window, being ejected. Buckling
up is the safest thing you can do on the road.
Nelson says the unbuckled person becomes a projectile in a crash.
He says that is a "grim reality." Neelson says it's true that you have no control over
where you're going when you roll. You'll go the direction the momentum carries you.
Nelson supports making an unbuckled driver a primary offense. That means
an officer can stop someone who's unbuckled if the officer sees it. But Nelson says he
prefers we buckle our seatbelts every trip, every time because it's simply common sense.