Vital Signs: Nonfatal, Motor Vehicle-Occupant Injuries (2009) and Seat Belt Use (2008) Among Adults - United States

Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death in the United States among persons aged 5-34 years. Seat belts have been shown to be the most effective method for reducing injuries among adults in the event of a crash. Methods: CDC used 2009 data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System-All Injury Program (NEISS-AIP) to provide U.S. estimates of the number and rate of nonfatal, motor vehicle-occupant injuries treated in emergency departments among adults aged ≥18 years. In addition, CDC used 2008 data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) to estimate the prevalence of self-reported seat belt use among adults in the United States. Seat belt use was examined further by type of state seat belt enforcement law. Results: In 2009 in the United States, an estimated 2.3 million adult motor vehicle-occupants had nonfatal injuries treated in emergency departments. The nonfatal, motor vehicle-occupant injury rate declined 15.6% from 1,193.8 per 100,000 population in 2001 to 1,007.5 per 100,000 population in 2009. In 2008, self-reported seat belt use was higher in states with primary enforcement laws (88.2%), compared with states with secondary enforcement laws (79.2%). If the secondary law states had achieved 88.2% seat belt use in 2008, an additional 7.3 million adults would have been belted. From 2002 to 2008, self-reported seat belt use increased overall from 80.5% to 85.0%. Conclusions: Nonfatal, motor vehicle-occupant injuries treated in emergency departments have declined in recent years but still affect a substantial proportion of the adult U.S. population each year. Self-reported belt use increased from 2002 to 2008, and was higher in states with primary enforcement laws compared with states with secondary enforcement laws. Implications for Public Health Practice: Seat belt use is a proven method to reduce motor vehicle-occupant injuries, and the results of this analysis demonstrate that states with primary enforcement laws have higher prevalence of self-reported seat belt use. To help reduce the number of motor vehicle-occupant injuries, 19 states without primary enforcement laws should consider enacting them.

© U.S. Center for Disease Control Jan 7, 2011. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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