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  • Motor Vehicle Crashes Claim More than a Million Lives Worldwide

  • Motor Vehicle Crashes Claim More than a Million Lives Worldwide

    Throughout the world, more than a million people die each year because of transportation-related crashes.

    In the United States, nearly 44,000 people die each year from transportation-related crashes and the price society pays is considerable. For the United States in 2000, motor vehicle-related medical costs exceeded $21 billion, accounting for almost 20 percent of all medical costs attributed to injuries. While there have been great strides to confront the public health problems of road traffic safety and injuries, there needs to be increased awareness that there are ways to prevent these deaths and injuries.

    “America is a very mobile society, but we pay a price. Every hour almost five people die in the United States because of vehicle crashes,” said CDC Director Dr. Julie Gerberding. “Let us re-energize our efforts on World Health Day and encourage people to choose health and safety – as they drive to school and work, as they run errands or drive on the job, and as they pursue leisure activities – by wearing seat belts, honoring speed limits, and not drinking and driving.”

    There are two significant studies highlighting the critical issue of road traffic safety.

    The first study examined safety belt use in the United States and found that belt use averaged 85 percent in states with primary enforcement safety belt laws compared with 74 percent in states with secondary laws. Primary laws allow police officers to ticket motorists solely for being unbelted. Secondary laws permit ticketing for failure to use a seat belt only if a motorist is stopped for another traffic violation. Safety belts are the best protection against serious injury or death in a crash. CDC recommends primary enforcement safety belt laws as an effective strategy to increase belt use. Currently, 20 states and Washington, DC have primary laws in place.

    The second study found that at work, more people die in motor vehicle crashes than from any other cause of injury. CDC recommends that employers establish and enforce workplace driver safety policies as a key step in preventing such fatalities. Occupational safety and health professionals also can help promote awareness of occupational driving issues, and effective strategies for reducing motor-vehicle related crash injuries in the general public can also reduce work-related crash injuries. Between 1992 and 2001, 13,337 people in the civilian work force died from injuries in work-related motor vehicle crashes. The highest number and rate of fatal work-related crashes occurred in the transportation, communications, and public utilities industry (4,358 fatalities, 4.64 deaths per 100,000 employees).

    Above information from the
    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    *** Any law, statute, regulation or other precedent is subject to change at any time ***

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