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For the past three years, the Emergency Nurses Association has been rating the roads of each state. Last year, Minnesota didn’t do very well and this year we did even worse. Using a scoring system that looks at 13 different areas, Minnesota got one of the lowest ratings in the country.

The 13 areas include: seat belt use; child passenger safety; graduated driver licensing for teens; universal motorcycle helmet requirements; ignition interlock devices to prevent drunk driving; and giving the proper officials the authority to develop, maintain and evaluate a state trauma system. States received one point for each type of legislation. Minnesota got the third lowest score after receiving a five. Oregon and Washington were the only states to receive the best possible score of 13. The full report is available online at

Minnesota was praised for legislation to develop and maintain statewide trauma systems. Today in the United States, more than 45 million people do not have access to high-level trauma care within an hour after injury.

If you are in an accident, make sure to get the names of anyone who indicates they saw what happened. If you witness an accident, check to see if everyone is OK and stay around or at least give the drivers your contact information. If you are injured, seek the advice of an attorney who does that kind of work and who can explain your coverages and rights.

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