NHTSA Urged To Enforce Rules On Automatic Belts. Vehicle Crash Injuries: Leading Cause of Death for Kids in U.S.

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1 NHTSA Urged To Enforce Rules On Automatic Belts Vehicle Crash Injuries: Leading Cause of Death for Kids in U.S.

2 NHTSA Urged To Enforce Rules On Automatic Belts PURCHASE AGE In an update of a 1985 stud~ the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that laws raising the alcohol purchase age have reduced fatal crash involvement by 12 percent among the affected age groups. The 1985 study reported a nearly identical 13 percent drop in fatal crashes among drivers affected by the increased drinking age. NHTSA estimates that laws raising the minimum alcohol purchase age have saved 7,500 to 8,000 lives since Suspending Licenses Of DWI Offenders Has Significant Benefits BELT PROPOSAL The National Park Service has proposed a rule to require front seat occupants of motor vehicles to wear safety belts in all public parks under its jurisdiction. The Park Service announced the proposal in response to the 1989 Department of Interior Appropriations Act. The act requires the Interior Department, which oversees the Park Service, to issue the rule or have funds withheld. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety "strongly supports" the proposal, says Brian O'Neill, Institute president. The Park Service already enforces belt use in parks located in states with belt use laws, O'Neill adds, so extending enforcement to all motorists in federal parks is a logical step. O'Neill also urges the Park Service to develop an enforcement program for the proposed rule. "An effectively enforced safety belt use regulation," O'Neill says, "will help reduce deaths and injuries among motorists traveling in our national parks."

3 Larger Trucks: A Growing Concern For Highway Officials

4 NEW FACT BOOK Anew fact book on childhood injuries provides a state-by-state picture of the chief hazards to children through age 14. The book, compiled by researchers at The Johns Hopkins University Injury Prevention Center, was funded by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and the Office of Maternal and Child Health of the U.S. Public Health Service. The researchers prepared the book to assist state health agencies and others interested in focusing on local problems. For instance in more than half of all states, children under 15 are more likely to be killed as motor vehicle occupants than from any other cause, but in the West drowning is the leading cause of death. The book can also be used to pinpoint high risk groups in each state. House fires are a major hazard for black children, but in California and several other states, the major threat is homicide. Single copies of Childhood Injury: State-By-State Mortality Facts, by Susan I? Baker and Anna E. Waller, may be obtained from the National Maternal and Child Health Clearinghouse, 38th and R Streets N~ Washington, D.C Vehicle Crash Injuries: Leading Cause of Death for Children in U.S. Cause u.s. Injury Deaths by Cause Birth Through Age 14, Motor vehicle-related, total Motor vehicle occupant Pedestrian, traffic Bicycle Pedestrian, nontraffic Motorcycle Other motor vehicle-related Drowning House fire Horrlicide Suffocation Firearm, unintentional Fall Aspiration, food Suicide Aspiration, other Poison, solid/liquid Farm mach inery Electric current Poison, vapor Airplane crash Other unintentional Unknown intent Medical/surgical All injury Number of Deaths ,174 9,796 7,489 2,194 1, ,568 7,021 5,722 2,279 1,700 1,332 1,248 1, ,473 1, ,711 Average Annual Death Rate per 100,000 Population

5 T1HS -5 Birth Through Age 14, year ws and COIJIIIIred the bumpers.r insurance ied each car changed bumpers into one of four categories: external bumper bar changes; underlying structural chang energy ab orption changes; and rgy absorption and structuraj charages. agency 2.5 mph standani did consumer costs; that is, higher collision repair costs were offset by lower car prices and weigh and improved fuel ecgiioiilj The InstituIe points 011 that...11 I,.-n iuvalidated tbe udy by mis-.. many of the _perc_lis indudedid. the agency tbe rear bumper of the J984 Boic coupe undergoing only a minor change to the external bumper bat In fact tbe auto maker equipped as many as 1& percent of these with a bumper that much. 0 Insurance Institute SafetJ t the to DiDgelI and Luken in response to earlier com ments by the Institute. "The agent.)' continues to misinform [ ] public on this important CODSUmer o aft ~ consistlently distorted infor SO In an earlier agenq disassembled both weakened and un changed bumpers on model o. major design inwiving bumpe that occurred in many car models. The Institute found 14 examples of major changes, including all DtM car bodies, downsizing, and even rear- drive to front 1ebi4:Jes; 0. that such design cbanges will overwbeim (Cont'd on Page 7)

6 Larger Trucks: A Growing Concern For Highway Officials Commercial Drivers Under 21 Have Many More Fatal Crashes

7 More Effort Needed To Recall Drivers' Multiple Licenses 11,000 LIVES SAVED Seat belts saved the lives of almost 11,000 front seat occupants in passenger vehicles between 1983 and 1987, says a study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). "Belt use laws saved 6,907 of these lives (63 percent)," NHTSA says, "by requiring seat belt use in states... [and] encouraging seat belt use in states without belt use laws." NHTSA reports prelaw levels of belt use prevented another 4,031 fatalities during the study period. NHTSA estimates that belt use prevents 40 to 50 percent of fatalities when belts are worn in crashes. Copies of "Lives Saved by Seat Belts from 1983 through 1987," DOT HS , are available from the National Technical Information Service, Springfield, Va Institute: NHTSA Distorts Facts On Bumper Standard

8 On The Inside

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