Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

During biggest travel weekend, beware of states that don't enforce seat belt laws

22.11.2007
Over the river and through the windshield?

Thanksgiving marks the heaviest travel weekend of the year and that means large increases in the number of fatal car crashes, particularly in rural areas. And nowhere is that more true than in states that don’t adequately enforce seat belt laws.

The University of Minnesota Center for Excellence in Rural Safety (CERS) today released an analysis showing a strong connection between states lacking strong seat belt laws and states with a high proportion of fatalities on rural roads.

“For some reason, the states struggling most with rural fatalities are not using one of the most powerful tools at their disposal,” said CERS Director Lee Munnich Jr., of the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs.

Of the 10 states with the highest percentage of fatalities in rural areas in 2005, none had primary seat belt laws, or laws that allow law enforcement officers to pull people over for not using their seat belts. In contrast, 13 of the 20 states with the lowest percentage of fatalities in rural areas had enacted primary seat belt laws. See chart at the end of this release for how states measure up. To view a graphic map of 2005 Rural Fatalities and Primary Seat Belt Laws, By State, visit http://www.ruralsafety.umn.edu/state/2005/SeatBeltLaws.html

States that enact primary seat belt laws have increased their seat belt usage rates dramatically, by an average of 14 percent, which in turn reduces the number of injuries and deaths. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHSTA), 250 more lives per year are saved and 6,400 serious injuries per year are prevented for every one percentage-point increase in safety belt use nationally.

“It makes no sense that, in more than half of the states, law enforcement officials can stop drivers for having a burned out tail light or outdated license tags, but they are banned from enforcing the safety law that may prevent more highway fatalities than any other,” Munnich said.

This is particularly relevant in rural areas. While U.S. Census figures show that about two out of 10 (21 percent) Americans live in rural areas, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has found that about six out of ten (57 percent) percent of highway deaths happen on roads that it considers rural.

And the people dying on rural roads are not just rural residents. In fact, more than half (53 percent) of rural fatalities in the United States in 2005 involved at least one driver from an urban area.

There are many reasons for America’s high rate of rural crash deaths. Rural roads, with lighter traffic and pleasant scenery, can easily lull drivers into a false sense of security. An over-relaxed comfort level can lead to motorists driving at unsafe speeds, distracted, fatigued, unbelted or impaired, all of which increase the likelihood of a crash. Additionally, emergency response time to a rural crash and hospital transport can be lengthy and thus jeopardize survival rate. Crash victims are five to seven times more likely to die from their injuries unless they arrive at a trauma center in the first half-hour following the crash.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, the most traveled day of the year is the Sunday after Thanksgiving, when 13.7 million long-distance trips are made. The day after Christmas is second most traveled day during the holidays (12 million trips).

“Over 90 percent of Thanksgiving trips will be by car, and many will pass through rural areas,” said Munnich. “Those scenic rural drives 'over the river and through the woods' may seem safer than urban trips, but that's not true, particularly if you can get away with not buckling up.”

Patty Mattern | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.umn.edu
http://www.ruralsafety.umn.edu
http://www.ruralsafety.umn.edu/state/2005/SeatBeltLaws.html

More articles from Transportation and Logistics:

nachricht New players, standardization and digitalization for more rail freight transport
16.07.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

nachricht A helping (Sens)Hand
11.04.2018 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Arbeitswirtschaft und Organisation IAO

All articles from Transportation and Logistics >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: UNH scientists help provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.

Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

How Humans and Machines Navigate Complex Situations

19.11.2018 | Science Education

Finding plastic litter from afar

19.11.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Channels for the Supply of Energy

19.11.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>