Motor Vehicle Safety to avoid the leading cause of death
Motor vehicle crashes are among the top 10 causes of death in the U.S., and are the leading cause of death for 5- to 34-year-olds. In 2007, motor vehicle crashes ranked third—behind cancer and heart disease—in terms of potential life lost before age 65. In economic terms, crashes account for an estimated $99 billion in medical and lost-work costs annually.
Crash-related deaths are largely preventable, and improvements have been made. Between 2000 and 2009, the number of miles traveled by motor vehicles nationwide increased by 8.5 percent, yet the injury rate declined. Big drops occurred for children, with 49 percent fewer pedestrian deaths and 58 percent fewer bicycle deaths.
While safe roadways, safer vehicles and safer road use continue to make a difference, it’s the changes in behavior that have a major impact in reducing crash deaths. The best examples of behavior change include:
- Passing and enforcing effective seat belt laws in 49 states and the District of Columbia (What’s up, New Hampshire?);
- Passing and enforcing effective legislation to protect children riding in cars and using safety seats in all 50 states;
- Adoption of graduated driver licensing policies for teens, admitting young beginners to full driving privileges in phases (implemented to varying degrees in most states and the District of Columbia.
We encourage everyone experience a higher level of motor vehicle safety by properly using seat belts and car seats!