Modified: July 8, 2016 12:19pm
From the Office of the Commissioner of Health, Dr. Gale R. Burstein
Date July 8, 2016
CONTACT: Mary C. St. Mary/Mary.StMary@Erie.Gov
Phone: 716.858.4941/ Mobile: 716.253.3925
Prevention of Deaths from Motor Vehicle Crashes
United States Has Much Room for Improvement
ERIE COUNTY, NY— Motor vehicle crash fatalities in the United States could drop by half with proven strategies—some as simple as using seat belts in both front and rear seats.
About 90 people die each day from motor vehicle crashes in the United States, resulting in a high death rate. Our nation has made progress in road safety, reducing crash deaths by 31 percent from 2000 to 2013.
Compared to 10 other countries (see Figure 1), the US had the:
•most motor vehicle crash deaths per 100,000 population;
•second highest percentage of deaths involving alcohol (31 percent); and
•third lowest front seat belt use (87 percent).
“Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for people age 5 – 34. Adult seat belt use is the single most effective way to save lives and reduce injuries in crashes,” said Dr. Gale Burstein, Erie County Commissioner of Health (“ECDOH”). “Seeing that other high-income countries are doing better, we know we can do better too”.
Here are tips from safety experts to keep both you and your passengers safe:
- Use safety belts in both front and rear seats, no matter how short the trip
- Make sure children are properly buckled in the back seat in a car seat, booster seat, or seat belt (whichever is appropriate for their age, height, and weight
- Never drive while impaired by alcohol or drugs and encourage others to do the same
- Obey speed limits
- Eliminate distracted driving (cell phone use or texting
“It is unacceptable for people to die on our roads, especially when we know what works to prevent crashes, injuries, and deaths,” Burstein continued. “Lives could be saved by increasing seat belt use and by eliminating alcohol-impaired driving.”
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