Death and Injury Statistics
- 1 out of 244 people will die as a car occupant in their lifetime.
- 86% of fatality victims are occupants, 14% are pedestrians, bicyclists, and others.
- Safety belt use has increased to a national rate of 73%, resulting in the prevention of many injuries.
- Between the years of 1975 and 2001, safety belts saved an estimated 147,246 lives.
- In the year 2001 alone, safety belts prevented 12,144 deaths.
- An average of 115 people died each day in motor vehicle crashes in 2001.
- In the year 2001, 39% of passenger car occupants involved in fatal crashes were unrestrained. An additional 9,167 deaths could have been prevented by the use of restraints.
- In the year 2001, 3,033,000 people were injured in traffic crashes.
- Air bags are designed to be used with seat belts. By themselves, they are only 12% effective in reducing deaths.
WHEN AND WHERE injuries are most likely to occur
- The highest numbers of fatal crashes occur on Christmas Day and Thanksgiving Day.
- 60% of crashes occur on roads with posted speed limits of 40 mph or less.
- 75% of motor vehicle crashes occur within 25 miles of home.
- Rural areas have higher motor vehicle crash incidence rates and death rates than urban areas.
Who is most likely to incur this type of injury?
- Two out of five deaths among teens in the United States are a result of a motor vehicle crash.
- Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children from 4 to 14 years of age.
- In the year 2000, the fatal crash involvement rate per 100,000 population was almost 3 times as high for male drivers as for females.
- The total annual cost of motor vehicle occupant-related death and injury exceeds $11 billion for all children ages 14 and under.
- Every dollar spent on a child safety seat saves the United States $32.
- Hospital costs for an unbelted crash victim are 55% higher than for a belted victim. The average American pays about $580 per year towards these costs. These payments are in the form of higher taxes, higher healthcare costs, and increased insurance premiums.
- Wear your safety belt during every ride.
- Lap belt - should fit snugly and be worn low across the hips and pelvis.
- Shoulder belt - should fit snugly and cross the chest and collarbone.
- Seat should be in an upright position.
- Children under 12 should be buckled up in the back seat.
- Damaged seat belts are not suitable protection. Look for signs of damage such as:
- Loss of Flexibility
Still not Convinced?
Traffic collisions result in a death every 12 minutes and a disabling injury every 14 seconds. This means in the short time it has taken you to read this, about 15 people have been severely injured, if not killed as a result of a car crash. Don't let this happen to you or someone you know. Remember, the brief second it takes to buckle up could save your life! Don't become a statistic - BUCKLE UP!
SOURCES: On the Facts and Prevention Tips section click on Safety Belts.