On March 26, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety released a study conducted by the Center for Excellence in Rural Safety that showed Minnesota has had 68 fewer traffic deaths since the state's seat belt law changed from a secondary to primary law in June 2009.
Researchers examined crash and health statistics from the State of Minnesota to determine that, controlling for all other factors, including Minnesota's already declining traffic fatalities, 68 fewer people had died and there were 320 fewer incapacitating injuries from traffic crashes, than would have been expected had the law not been changed.
These saved lives and serious injuries meant that $45 million was not spent on hospital bills, of which nearly $10 million would have been paid directly by Minnesota payers through programs like such as Medicare, Medicaid and other government insurance programs.
A longer description of the work can be found on the Humphrey School website.
The full study is currently available on website of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety