primary seat belt law was proposed during a legislative meeting in our state. The law would
allow for drivers to be pulled over specifically for not wearing their
seat belts. Currently, only 77 percent of Montanans buckle-up. This is
much lower than the national average of 88 percent and significantly less
than Texas, Washington, and Oregon, where fines ranging from $110 to $200
likely play a part in about 94 percent of people buckling up. Similar
bills were proposed in Montana in 2011 and 2013, but they did not pass.
Whether the primary seat belt law goes through or not, there are several
things you can do to help prevent anyone in your family from suffering a
personal injury in a vehicle accident.
One of the most important things you can do is to wear a seat belt. Even
though it is not currently a primary enforced law, it is still the law
to wear a seat belt, and it is a great way to protect yourself in a crash.
Seventy-one percent of those killed in automobile accidents in Montana
in 2014 were not wearing their seat belts.
Along with buckling up, it is important for young children to be properly
placed in car seats or booster seats. According to
Montana law, all children under six years old or who weigh less than 60 pounds should
be placed in a federally-approved safety seat or booster seat.
Another important step is to maintain a safe speed. This does not always
mean going the speed limit. As the weather gets colder, the roads will
get snowy and icy. A safe speed may be several miles below the speed limit.
It is also important to be an attentive driver. Seeing a potential hazard,
including another vehicle, will allow you to slow down or get out of the
way. This can help you avoid a head-on collision, a crash with a vehicle
cutting in front of you, and many other potential crashes.
Overall, avoiding a crash is often about just working to be a safe driver.
Unfortunately, you cannot control the actions of the other drivers on
the road, and they sometimes cause crashes, some of them resulting in
serious injury, even when you were being a safe driver. If you were injured
in a vehicle accident caused by another driver,