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J Trauma. 2002 Apr;52(4):752-5.

An analysis of race and demographic factors among motor vehicle fatalities.

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Department of Emergency Medicine, State University of New York at Buffalo 14215, USA.



According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, from 1982 through 1995 safety belts are estimated to have saved 74,769 lives. Even more lives could be saved and serious injuries avoided if there was increased seat belt use in the United States.


This study analyzed safety belt use among drivers and passengers involved in fatal motor vehicle crashes from 1993 through 1995. Age, sex, race, safety belt use, and position in the vehicle were the demographic factors obtained from both the Fatality Analysis Reporting System and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.


Overall, safety belt use increased by an average of 1.3% per year for the entire study population. Forward logistic regression identified age, female gender, Caucasian race, and driver as significant predictors of safety belt use.


This study has identified younger males, African Americans, and passengers as high-risk populations for nonuse of safety belts among fatal motor vehicle crashes. These high-risk populations should be educated regarding the importance of safety belt use.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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