The Prevention Status Reports from the CDC highlight—for all 50 states and the District of Columbia—the status of public health policies and practices designed to address 10 important public health problems and concerns. The following policies are recommended by the Community Preventive Services Task Force and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration because scientific studies support their effectiveness in preventing or reducing crash-related injuries and deaths:
- Implementing primary enforcement seat belt laws that cover occupants in all seating positions
- Mandating the use of car seats and booster seats for motor vehicle passengers through at least age 8 years
- Implementing comprehensive graduated driver licensing (GDL) systems, which help new drivers gain experience under low-risk conditions by granting driving privileges in stages. Research shows that more comprehensive GDL systems prevent more crashes and deaths than less comprehensive GDL systems. Components of comprehensive GDL systems include
- A minimum age of 16 years for learner’s permits
- A mandatory holding period of at least 12 months for learner’s permits
- Nighttime driving restrictions between 10:00 pm and 5:00 am (or longer) for intermediate or provisional license holders
- A limit of zero or one young passengers who can ride with intermediate or provisional license holders without adult supervision
- A minimum age of 18 years for unrestricted licensure
- Requiring the use of ignition interlock devices for everyone convicted of alcohol-impaired driving
Other strategies recommended by scientific evidence for preventing motor vehicle injuries include enhanced seat belt enforcement campaigns, 0.08% blood alcohol concentration laws, minimum legal drinking age laws, publicized sobriety checkpoint programs, alcohol-impaired driving mass media campaigns, increased alcohol taxes, car and booster seat distribution plus education campaigns, and community-wide car seat and booster seat information and enhanced enforcement campaigns.
Seat belt law
A primary enforcement seat belt law allows police to stop a vehicle solely because a driver or passenger is not wearing a seat belt. A secondary enforcement seat belt law requires police to have another reason for stopping a vehicle before citing a driver or passenger for not buckling up. The most comprehensive policies are primary seat belt laws that cover all occupants, regardless of where they are sitting.
How These Ratings Were Determined
These ratings reflect the extent to which states’ seat belt laws allowed for primary enforcement and covered all seating positions. Ratings are based on data collected from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) on July 1, 2015, and therefore reflect IIHS’s interpretation of each state’s policy at that time (20). The “as of” date referenced in the Motor Vehicle Injuries state reports—July 1, 2015—is the date CDC assessed the policy. The date does not reflect when the law was enacted or became effective.
First Aid Store offers training products on Driving Safety to provide the information employees need to drive cars, vans and small trucks safely, both on and off the job. Topics covered in these products include: Inspecting the vehicle, Adjusting seats, mirrors and other equipment, Mental preparation and concentration, Passing another vehicle, Sharing the road with trucks and buses, School bus encounters, Driving at night, Adverse weather conditions, skidding and hydroplaning, Distracted driving, Road rage, What to do in case of an accident.
- About 90 people die each day from motor vehicle crashes on US roads, according to the latest CDC Vital Signs.
- The US crash death rate is more than twice the average of 19 other high-income countries.
- States can implement proven policies and strategies to prevent thousands of crash-related injuries and deaths.
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