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Safety Equipment Use Saves Lives

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Child Safety Seats

  • According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), child safety seats reduce crash deaths 54%-71% among children four years and younger.
  • In Oklahoma, three children four years and younger were not restrained and died in passenger vehicle crashes in 2008. If all of these children would have been properly restrained in a child safety seat, an estimated two children’s lives could have been saved.

Seat Belts

  • According to NHTSA, when seat belts are used, they are effective in reducing motor vehicle injuries and deaths. The risk of dying from a crash injury is reduced by 45%-65% when vehicle occupants are wearing seat belts. Seat belt use can also reduce the economic costs associated with motor vehicle crash injuries.
  • In Oklahoma, 329 older children and adults in passenger vehicles and pickup trucks were not using a seat belt and died in 2008. If all of these persons had been wearing a seat belt, an estimated 214 lives could have been saved.
  • Unrestrained persons who were hospitalized had median hospital charges that were 35% higher than charges for restrained persons. Approximately $4.9 million could have been saved if all had been wearing a seat belt.

Motorcycle Helmets

  • According to NHTSA, helmets are 37% effective in preventing fatalities among motorcyclists.
  • In Oklahoma, 51 non-helmeted motorcyclists died in 2008. If all of these riders had been wearing a helmet, an estimated 19 lives could have been saved.
  • Non-helmeted motorcyclists had median hospital charges that were 30% higher than charges for helmeted motorcyclists. Approximately $2.1 million in hospital charges could have been saved if all motorcyclists had been wearing a helmet.

Injury Prevention Service, OSDH, 1000 NE 10th Street, Oklahoma City, OK 73117
Revised August 2011

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