Buckle up, Sherburne County

Now that spring is here we all want to make the most of our time outside. Traveling to the lake, going to a baseball game or just taking a drive with the windows down are some activities we enjoy doing this time of year. Please take the time to buckle up each and every time you get into a vehicle. It’s the No. 1 thing you can do to increase your odds of survival in a crash.

Here are a few 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.

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.

Thank you for taking the time and effort to keep our roads in Sherburne County safe. —   Mark Lees, Elk River (Editor’s note: Lees is the Community Health Coordinator for Sherburne County Health & Human Services.)