A PRELIMINARY ASSESSMENT OF CHANGE IN MOTOR VEHICLE TRAFFIC TRAUMA INCIDENCE AND OUTCOME: RHODE ISLAND, 1984-1985. SYMPOSIUM ON MOTOR VEHICLE INJURIES: PROCEEDINGS. DECEMBER 7, 1987, NEW YORK, NEW YORK

The first statewide hospital emergency department surveillance system to monitor and investigate motor vehicle trauma has been established in Rhode Island. This report documents short-term changes and demographic differentials in the incidence and outcome of motor vehicle traffic trauma in Rhode Island, a state without universal mandatory seat belt legislation. The purposes are to (1) facilitate preliminary evaluation of the New York State seat belt law, (2) furnish baseline data in anticipation of a local seat belt law, and (3) enhance the descriptive epidemiology of motor vehicle trauma. Data pertain to the first two quarters of calendar years 1984 and 1985. Between the first half of 1984 and the first half of 1985 the motor vehicle traffic trauma incidence rate in Rhode Island increased by 14%. There is also some evidence of a concomitant increase in the case-fatality ratio. By contrast, the case-admission ratio may have declined. Increases in motor vehicle traffic trauma incidence rates and case-fatality ratios are consistent with changes in two risk indicators, both pertaining to speed. When compared with the New York State study, which found that the vehicular injury occurrence rate and the case-fatality ratio both declined between the first six months of 1984 (pre-law) and the first six months of 1985 (post-law), it appears plausible that the New York State seat belt law was even more effective in reducing motor vehicle trauma mortality and morbidity than indicated by the New York study findings alone. Considered jointly, the results of these two preliminary studies have potentially important public safety and policy implications for Rhode Island and other states which have either not enacted, or have rescinded, universal mandatory seat belt legislation.

  • Corporate Authors:

    New York Academy of Medicine

    Two East 103rd Street
    New York, NY  United States  10029
  • Authors:
    • Rockett, IRH
    • Hollinshead, W H
    • Lieberman, E S
  • Publication Date: 1988-9

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00616425
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Oct 31 1991 12:00AM