Non-fatal injuries sustained by seatbelt wearers: a comparative study.
The injuries sustained by 969 drivers and front-seat passengers in road-traffic accidents were studied. Altogether 196 (20-2%) of the drivers and passengers were wearing seat belts and 773 (79-8%) were not. The injuries among the two groups differed greatly in both severity and distribution. A total of 54 (27-6%) of the seatbelt wearers sustained one or more fractures compared with 300 (38-8%) of the non-wearers, and 18 (9-2%) of the seatbelt wearers were severely injured compared with 300 (38-8%) of the non-wearers. Soft-tissue injuries to the face were sustained by only 29 (14-8%) of the seatbelt wearers compared with 425 (55%) of the non-wearers. Since wearing seatbelts may become compulsory, the type and pattern of injuries to be expected in wearers should be appreciated. (+info)
National Child Passenger Safety Week--February 14-20, 1999.
In 1997, 1791 U.S. children aged <15 years were killed and 282,000 were injured while riding in motor vehicles. National Child Passenger Safety Week, February 14-20, 1999, will highlight safety recommendations for children aged >4 years and weighing >40 lbs who have outgrown their child safety seats. (+info)
Reduced fatalities related to rear seat shoulder belts.
OBJECTIVE: To determine the effect on fatality rates in crashes of installation of shoulder belts in automobile back seats. METHODS: During 1988-96, fatalities to rear outboard seat occupants of passenger cars, classified by age of occupant and vehicle curb weight were matched to data on model year in which shoulder belts became standard equipment. The same data were obtained from the same years on back seat occupants in crashes from the Crashworthiness Data System. Weighted regression was performed on death rates per occupants in crashes by belt equipment, occupant age, and vehicle weight for all occupants and occupants who claimed to be restrained. RESULTS: The risk of death is significantly lower in vehicles equipped with shoulder belts, midsized to larger cars, and among children. Claimed child restraint use is higher in cars with shoulder belts and claimed use of shoulder belts is higher among adolescents and young adults but lower among those 35 and older. However, older occupants have lower death rates in shoulder belt equipped cars. CONCLUSIONS: Shoulder belts substantially reduce risk of death relative to lap belts at prevalent use rates in each age group. Belt effectiveness when used cannot be estimated precisely because of invalid claimed use, but the lowered rates among vehicles with shoulder belts indicates that effectiveness given prevalent use is far more efficacious than lap belts without shoulder belts. (+info)
Effectiveness of a comprehensive multisector campaign to increase seat belt use in the greater Athens area, Greece. Hellenic Road Traffic Police Department.
OBJECTIVES: This study assessed the effectiveness of a comprehensive campaign to increase seat belt use in Athens. METHODS: In 1996 a survey focusing on seat belt use was undertaken among occupants of 1400 passenger cars. From October 1997 to June 1998 the campaign was implemented; during the campaign, seat belt law enforcement was not intensified. In 1998 another inspection survey of 2250 cars was undertaken. RESULTS: The program brought only a 6% increase in compliance, but there was an estimated gain of about 50 averted deaths and 1500 averted injuries. CONCLUSIONS: An intensive campaign to increase seat belt use, conducted in the absence of increased law enforcement, resulted in moderate gains. (+info)
Child seating position and restraint use in three states.
OBJECTIVE: Because of risks from deploying airbags to children in front seats, extensive publicity has been aimed at getting them restrained and in rear seats. The objective of this study was to assess restraint use and seating positions among children in vehicles with and without airbags. METHOD: Surveys were conducted in cities in Michigan, North Carolina, and Texas 1998. Restraint use and seating position were noted for all children, as well as their estimated age, driver belt use, airbag presence, and vehicle license plate number. RESULTS: Fewer children were observed in the front seats of vehicles with passenger airbags (24%) than in vehicles without them (36%). Most of the children seated in front were ages 7-12 (44%-61%), followed by 3-6 year olds (29%-35%). Very few children ages 0-2 were seated in front (5%-12%). The overwhelming majority of children ages 0-2 were restrained. However, children ages 3-6 seated in the front were least likely to be restrained and most likely to be improperly restrained. Restraint use was higher when the driver was belted, but about 30% of 3-6 year olds were unrestrained even with a belted driver. CONCLUSIONS: Efforts should continue to educate parents about the importance of correct restraint use and rear seating for children, particularly once children move from child safety seats into adult belts. Efforts also should be made to enforce the seat belt laws that exist in every state. (+info)
Motor-vehicle occupant fatalities and restraint use among children aged 4-8 years--United States, 1994-1998.
In the United States, more children aged 4-8 years die as occupants in motor-vehicle-related crashes than from any other form of unintentional injury (1). To reduce the number of deaths and injuries caused by motor-vehicle-related trauma, child passengers in this age group should be restrained properly in a vehicle's back seat (2). To characterize fatalities, restraint use, and seating position among occupants aged 4-8 years involved in fatal crashes, CDC analyzed 1994-1998 data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), which is maintained by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). This report summarizes the results of that analysis, which indicate that during 1994-1998, little change occurred in the death rate, restraint use, and seating position among children aged 4-8 years killed in crashes. (+info)
Whiplash-type neck distortion in restrained car drivers: frequency, causes and long-term results.
An analysis was made of 1176 whiplash-type neck distortions taken from a total of 3838 restrained car driver incident reports. The percentage of whiplash-type neck distortion among injured drivers increased from less than 10% in 1985 to over 30% in 1997. Most occurred in head-on crashes or crashes with multiple collisions; only 15% occurred in rear-end collisions. More than 1,000 questionnaires were sent to the injured to find out about the duration and type of complaints caused by their cervical spine injury. Although only 138 (12%) returned the questionnaire, which may not be a representative sample, a further analysis was carried out. Of the 138, 121 (88%) indicated that they had suffered or were still suffering from their symptoms. The percentages of the various complaints were as follows: pain (74%), tension (6%) and stiffness (5%) in the head (27%), neck (55%) and shoulder (8%). The duration of the complaints was longest after multiple collisions and when the onset of complaints was longer than 24 h after trauma. Women and elderly persons predominated slightly in the group with longer duration of complaints. A correlation between the severity of the accompanying injuries and duration of complaints was found. Lack of adequate follow-up for patients with less severe injuries posed considerable difficulties for this retrospective study. In order to better evaluate this problem, prospective studies are necessary, with documentation including diagnosis, treatments, complaint duration and type. (+info)
A multifaceted approach to improving motor vehicle restraint complicance.
OBJECTIVES: To increase proper use of seat belts and car seats, thereby reducing morbidity and mortality from motor vehicle collisions. SETTING: The Vehicle Injury Prevention program community intervention was implemented in Houston, Texas. Effectiveness data are limited to "target area one", an impoverished neighborhood in northeast Harris County. METHODS: This multifaceted public health education campaign brought together six segments of the community: education, health, government, law enforcement, private industry, and the media, to improve restraint use. It was evaluated by observation of proper restraint use before and nine months after implementation. Trained, independent observers made observations of occupants in the target area and at two comparison sites. Pre-post differences in restraint compliance were calculated by a standard binomial proportion test. RESULTS: Motorists in target area one significantly improved their restraint use by 15% (p<0.05) from 39% pre-intervention to 54% post-intervention, whereas use in the comparison neighborhoods remained unchanged. CONCLUSIONS: Implementation of a public health education program, combined with economic incentives to increase vehicle restraint use, can be successful with multifaceted community support. (+info)