Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

'Upgrading' from Secondary to Primary Seatbelt Laws Would Save Lives

09.05.2007
Vehicle crashes claim approximately 42,000 lives each year, according to statistics from the U.S. Department of Transportation. Recently, Missouri and other states have been considering a law that would encourage seatbelt use. Research conducted by a University of Missouri-Columbia professor sheds new light on the importance of seatbelts and laws that encourage their use.

Lilliard Richardson, associate professor in MU's Truman School of Public Affairs, and David J. Houston, associate professor at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, conducted two studies of primary seatbelt enforcement, and both demonstrate the effectiveness of such laws in saving lives. Primary enforcement laws allow law enforcement officers to pull over drivers and ticket them if they are not wearing their seatbelts. Secondary enforcement laws, on the other hand, only allow an officer to pull over drivers for a separate violation (speeding, headlight out, etc.) and then ticket them if they are not wearing their seatbelts. Twenty-four states have primary enforcement laws, whereas others, including Missouri, only have secondary enforcement laws. New Hampshire has no seatbelt law. A bill to change enforcement from secondary to primary recently passed in the Missouri House and Senate.

In the study "Safety Belt Use and the Switch to Primary Enforcement," Richardson and Houston developed statistical models of observed seatbelt use in 47 states and the District of Columbia from 1991 to 2003. They found that states could increase belt use by 10 percent and improve public safety considerably by upgrading to primary enforcement.

"Seatbelts save lives, and stronger seatbelt laws increase seatbelt use," Richardson said. "Many studies have examined the effects of primary and secondary enforcement laws, but our study is one of only a few to look at the gains that can be made by upgrading from a secondary to a primary law. Our results show that seatbelt use increased when states upgraded to primary enforcement laws, and this means that upgrading can save lives."

Thirteen of the 47 states studied changed their laws from secondary to primary between 1991 and 2003. Richardson and Houston found that seatbelt use in all of the states studied increased during the 13-year study, but states with primary enforcement laws consistently had the highest use of seatbelts, and states with only secondary enforcement laws had the lowest usage rates. States that started the study with secondary enforcement laws and then upgraded to primary enforcement laws experienced the greatest average increase in belt use. States that had primary enforcement laws throughout the study saw seatbelt use increase from 68.4 to 86.1 percent, whereas states that upgraded saw an increase from 55.5 to 82.7 percent.

Another study done by Richardson and Houston, "Reducing Traffic Fatalities in American States by Upgrading Seat Belt Use Laws to Primary Enforcement," showed a strong link not just between primary enforcement laws and seatbelt use, but between primary enforcement laws and a reduction in fatalities. The study found that fatality rates in states with secondary enforcement laws remained stable between 1990 and 2002, whereas fatality rates in states with primary enforcement laws continued to steadily decline. Even with statistical controls for demographic changes in the states over time, primary enforcement states showed nearly double the reduction in fatalities compared to secondary states. Further, an upgrade to primary enforcement was associated with a 5.1 percent decline in fatalities for drivers and a 4.7 percent decrease in all vehicle occupant fatalities. The study estimated that the ten states and District of Columbia that upgraded from secondary to primary enforcement laws saved 3,553 lives between 1993 and 2002.

"Safety Belt Use and the Switch to Primary Enforcement" was published in the American Journal of Public Health in November 2006, and "Reducing Traffic Fatalities in the American states by Upgrading Seatbelt Use Laws to Primary Enforcement" was published in the Journal of Public Analysis and Management in June 2006.

Katherine Kostiuk | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.missouri.edu

More articles from Automotive Engineering:

nachricht Improved Performance thanks to Reduced Weight
24.07.2017 | Technische Universität Chemnitz

nachricht New Headlamp Dimension: Fully Adaptive Light Distribution in Real Time
29.06.2017 | Universität Stuttgart

All articles from Automotive Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A Map of the Cell’s Power Station

18.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Engineering team images tiny quasicrystals as they form

18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet

18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>