Question: Is it legal to jump out of a moving vehicle?

Answer: One of the more unusual questions I’ve been asked. A person in a moving motor vehicle must be wearing their seat belt and if you are wearing your seat belt properly, you would not be able to jump out of the vehicle.

Riding in a vehicle unbelted is extremely dangerous as it’s your first line of defense in a crash. You might be the safest driver, but those around you could be conducting dangerous driving behaviors.

Unbelted motorists lost their lives at a high rate in 2020 with 102 unbelted motorists losing their lives compared with 73 in 2019. The 102 deaths were the most unbelted fatalities since 2014 (106).

Minnesota’s Primary Seat Belt Law

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Minnesota law states that drivers and passengers in all seating positions must be buckled up or seated in the correct child restraint. Officers will stop and ticket unbelted drivers or passengers. Seat belts must be worn correctly — low and snug across the hips, and shoulder straps should never be tucked under an arm or behind the back.

Law enforcement will stop and ticket unbelted drivers or passengers — including those in the back. A seat belt violation can cost more than $100.

Seat belt enforcement of this law begins with the motorist — Drive smart and insist passengers are buckled up.

A portion of state statutes were used with permission from the Office of the Revisor of Statutes. If you have any questions concerning traffic related laws or issues in Minnesota, send your questions to Trp. Jesse Grabow – Minnesota State Patrol at 1000 Highway 10 West, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501-2205. (You can follow him on Twitter @MSPPIO_NW or reach him at, jesse.grabow@state.mn.us).