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Notice to Readers: Buckle Up America Week --- May 22--29, 2006

During 2004, motor-vehicle crashes resulted in 37,142 deaths to vehicle occupants, and approximately 3 million occupants were treated for injuries in emergency departments in the United States (1,2). Safety belts are the single most effective means of preventing death and serious injury during a crash, 45% effective in preventing death in passenger cars and 60% effective in preventing death in light trucks (3). Buckle Up America Week, May 22--29, 2006, is a national campaign, coordinated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, to increase the proper use of safety belts and child safety seats. As part of the campaign, law enforcement agencies across the nation will participate in a Click It or Ticket mobilization by conducting intensive, high-visibility enforcement of safety belt and child safety seat laws.

During 2002, approximately 81% of adults in the United States reported that they always used safety belts (4). However, safety-belt use varied by state/territory, ranging from 52% to 93% (4). Evidence from systematic reviews has demonstrated the effectiveness of interventions to increase safety-belt use (5). CDC and the U.S. Task Force on Community Preventive Services strongly recommend implementing safety-belt laws, primary safety-belt laws (i.e., laws that allow police to stop and ticket a motorist solely for being unbelted), and conducting enhanced enforcement of these laws to increase safety-belt use (5,6). Additional information regarding Buckle Up America Week activities is available at http://www.buckleupamerica.org.

References

  1. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) web-based encyclopedia. Washington, DC: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Available at http://www-fars.nhtsa.dot.gov.
  2. CDC. WISQARS™ nonfatal injury reports. Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC. Available at http://webappa.cdc.gov/sasweb/ncipc/nfirates2001.html.
  3. Kahane CJ. Fatality reduction by safety belts for front-seat occupants of cars and light trucks: updated and expanded estimates based on 1986--99 FARS data. Washington, DC: US Department of Transportation; 2000 (publication no. DOT-HS-809-199).
  4. CDC. Impact of primary laws on adult use of safety belts---United States, 2002. MMWR 2004;53:257--60.
  5. US Task Force on Community Preventive Services. Motor vehicle occupant injury [Chapter 8]. In: Zaza S, Briss P, Harris K, eds. The guide to community preventive services: what works to promote health? New York, NY: Oxford University Press; 2005.
  6. CDC. Motor-vehicle occupant injury: strategies for increasing use of child safety seats, increasing use of safety belts, and reducing alcohol-impaired driving. A report on recommendations of the Task Force on Community Preventive Services. MMWR 2001;50(No. RR-7).



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