[1.4 MB, 12 pgs.]
Spring 2011 | Vol. 13 | No. 1
CDC Report Spotlights Adult Seat Belt Use, Nonfatal Injuries
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has launched its Vital Signs program as a call to action on a specific public health topic each month. In January 2011, the focus was on adult seat belt use and nonfatal crash-related injuries.
This Vital Signs report was published in CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report on January 4. CDC used 2009 data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System - All Injury Program and the 2008 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System in this study.
Key findings include:
- The nonfatal, crash-related injury rate has declined in recent years, but still affected approximately one in 100 people in 2009.
- Seat belt use is up to 85 percent nationally in 2008.
- Still, about 1 in 7 adults still do not wear a seat belt on every trip.
- Rates of self-reported seat belt use vary widely from state to state.
- Primary seat belt enforcement laws are effective at increasing belt use and reducing death rates.
- In 2008, seat belt use was 88 percent in primary enforcement states, compared with 79 percent in states with secondary enforcement. If the secondary enforcement states had achieved 88 percent belt use, it would have translated to an additional 7.3 million adults buckling up.
- Although only one-third of U.S. adults lived in states secondary enforcement states in 2008, residents of these states accounted for 49% of the unbelted drivers and passengers on U.S. roads.
A supplementary Vital Signs fact sheet on adult seat belt use defines the problem, presents graphs and charts, and provides specific action items to increase belt use.
In addition to Vital Signs, CDC also published a “Policy Impact: Seat Belts” briefing paper to support efforts to strengthen state seat belt policies. In this brief, CDC specifically recommends: primary enforcement laws, enhanced enforcement of existing laws, and increased fines for violations.
Visit www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/seatbeltuse/ for the Vital Signs Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report and additional materials. The policy brief is available at www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/seatbeltbrief.