The Effects of Primary Prevention Policies on Mortality from Motor-Vehicle Crashes among Children in the United States

Every year, 4500 children die in motor-vehicle crashes in the United States, with estimated costs of more than $40,000 and $240 billion in productivity losses. The majority of deaths and injuries are associated with improper use of restraint devices, alcohol, high speeds, and built environments. This is a retrospective study using U.S. panel data from 1997 through 2005. Data sources included the Fatality Analysis Reporting System, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the U.S. Census Bureau, the Atlas of Presidential Elections, and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This study used conditional fixed effects negative binomial regression to analyze the effect of the covariates on mortality by state and year. A total of 32,893 children died in motor-vehicle crashes (MVCs). States that allowed fines greater than $50 for lack of restraint use experienced significant reductions in mortality as well as states with laws allowing the use of red light cameras. Graduated licensing programs requiring a minimum age of 16 for the intermediate-level experienced mortality reductions as much as 90% compared with a minimum age of 14. Higher posted speeds were associated with higher mortality rates, particularly on local roads. This research focuses on the effects injury prevention laws have on mortality, but not on how effectively these laws are implemented and/or enforced. Results may be useful to policy-makers and public health practitioners involved in injury prevention and public health. Design appropriate education and training programs in road safety, implement effective road safety interventions and improve traffic safety legislation.


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  • Accession Number: 01675760
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 12 2018 3:03PM