Safety Equipment Use Saves Lives
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.
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.
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.