Motor Vehicle Injury Prevention
- Motor Vehicle Injury Prevention
- Child Passenger Safety
- Teen Drivers and Information for Parents
- Occupant Safety
- Older Adult Safety
- Distracted Driving
- Impaired Driving
- Pedestrian Safety
- Motorcycle Safety
- School Bus Safety
- Truck and Semi Safety
- Off-Road Vehicle (ORV) Safety
MOTOR VEHICLE INJURY PREVENTION
In 2016, motor vehicle crashes were the second leading cause of unintentional injury death in the U.S.1 Furthermore, more than half of teens and adults aged 13-44 years who died in crashes in 2016 were not buckled up at the time of the crash.2 Motor vehicle injuries are preventable when appropriate precautions are taken and passengers understand the safest ways to commute on the road. Learn more about effective interventions for decreasing motor vehicle injuries below.
- What Works Fact Sheet: Motor Vehicle-Related Injury Prevention
- Sobering Facts: Drunk Driving in Indiana (2014)
- Sobering Facts: Alcohol-Impaired Driving in Indiana (2020)
- Buckle Up Restraint Use: Indiana Factsheet
- Motor Vehicle Crash Deaths: Costly but Preventable in Indiana
CHILD PASSENGER SAFETY
According to Indiana Traffic Law under IC 9-19-11-2, children ages 8-16 are required to ride properly restrained in a child restraint system or seat belt.3 This law applies to all seating positions in all vehicles. It is important to properly secure children in safety seats to keep them safe. To prevent child passenger injuries, IDOH provides funding for statewide Booster Bashes—event that offer free car seats and education for parents about proper car seat fittings. The funding also covers scholarships for injury prevention workers to become certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians. Additional resources provided by IDOH are listed below.
IDOH Child Passenger Safety Technician
To become a Child Passenger Safety Technician, visit the Safe Kids website. IDOH offers a scholarship to cover the costs of the training where recipients can be reimbursed up to $250 for taking the 3- to 4-day training. For the scholarship application, please see the forms below:
Host a Booster Bash in your county! The Booster Bash Toolkit is a resource to help you plan and hold a successful event. The information inside serves as a guide to a Booster Bash and can be adapted to serve your community’s needs.
- Read the IC 9-19-11-2 to learn more about laws relating to passenger restraint systems for children.
- Take advantage of car seat safety checks held nationwide during National Child Passenger Safety Week, which takes place every September.
- The Auto Safety Program helps reduce injuries and fatalities resulting from motor vehicle crashes in Indiana.
- Child Passenger Safety Factsheet
- Child Safety Seat Inspections:
- Child Safety Seat Inspection Stations in Indiana—Automotive Safety Program
- Child Passenger Safety Technician Certification
- Training Information for Child Passenger Safety Technicians
Indiana has certain child seat requirements; the criteria is listed below:
Vehicle heatstroke occurs when a child is left in a hot vehicle causing the child’s body temperature to rise in a quick and deadly manner. It is vitally important to understand that children are more vulnerable to heatstroke than adults.
LOOK before you LOCK. Make it a habit to look inside the car before you lock it, and try these tips to avoid putting children at risk of heatstroke.
TAKE ACTION if you notice a child alone in a car! Protecting children is everyone’s business—learn what to do if you see a child alone in a car.
- Trends in child passenger safety practices in Indiana from 2009 to 2015 (link)
- CDC Vital Signs: Restraint Use and Motor Vehicle Occupant Death Rates among Children Ages 0 – 12 Years—United States, 2002 – 2011
- Factors Associated with Pediatric Mortality from Motor Vehicle Crashes in the United States: A State-Based Analysis
TEEN DRIVERS AND INFORMATION FOR PARENTS
More than 2,400 teens lost their lives in a car crash in 2016.4 That is approximately six teens lost a day. The main cause? Driver inexperience.
CDC’s Parents Are the Key campaign helps parents, pediatricians and communities keep teen drivers safe on the road.
- Rule the Road
- Pediatricians and Safe Teen Driving
- Parent-Teen Driving Agreement
- Dangerous Driving Situations Related to Teen Driving
- Young Drivers in the Workplace: How Employers and Parents Can Help Keep Them Safe on the Road
- Teen Driving Safety: A Guide for New Drivers
There were 37,461 traffic fatalities in the United States in 2016, of which 23,714 (63%) were occupants of passenger vehicles.5 Occupant safety focuses on seat belt use, car seat safety and frontal air bags.
- MMWR—Health Burden and Medical Costs of Nonfatal Injuries to Motor Vehicle Occupants (2012) CDC Vital Signs January, 2011: Adult Seat Belt Use
- Policy Impact: Seat Belts
OLDER ADULT DRIVERS
Per mile traveled, fatal crash rates increase noticeably starting at age 70 – 74 and are highest among drivers 85 and older. The increased fatal crash risk among older drivers is largely due to their increased susceptibility to injury, particularly chest injuries, and medical complications, rather than an increased tendency to get into crashes.6
- CDC Older Adult Drivers
- Older Driver Safety Awareness Week
- Older Drivers in the Workplace Fact Sheet (2016)
- Rides In Sight—provides information about senior transportation options in local communities throughout the United States
Distracted driving occurs any time you take your eyes off the road, hands off the wheel, and mind off your primary task: driving safely.7 Any non-driving activity you engage in while behind the wheel is a potential distraction and increases your risk of being involved in a motor vehicle crash.
- NHTSA Distracted Driving
- Teen Distracted Driving Facts and Stats
- NHTSA Enforcement Campaign Resources
- Technologies Can Reduce Cell Phone Distracted Driving
In 2016, 10,497 people died in alcohol-impaired driving crashes, accounting for 28% of all traffic-related deaths in the U.S. 8
- Indiana Impaired Driving Laws (IC 9-30-6-1)
- Indiana Sobering Facts: Drunk Driving (2014)
- Traffic Safety Facts Research Note: Distracted Driving 2016 (2018)
- What Works: Strategies to Reduce or Prevent Drunk Driving
- Drug-Impaired Driving (2018)
In 2015, there were 5,376 pedestrians killed and an estimated 70,000 injured in traffic crashes in the U.S. On average, a pedestrian was killed every 1.6 hours and injured every 7.5 minutes in a traffic crash.9 Distracted driving such as talking on the phone, text-messaging, or listening to music can influence pedestrian safety. Holidays can also be the cause of pedestrian injuries. For example, on Halloween, the number of pedestrian accident deaths involving children is four times that of an average day because of children improperly crossing roads or intersections and lack of visibility because of low lighting and/or dark clothing. Check out the resources below to learn how to prevent these accidents.
- National Safety Council Pedestrian Safety
- Traffic Safety Facts Pedestrians 2016 Data (2018)
- Distracted Walking a Major Pedestrian Safety Concern
- The Importance of Pedestrian Safety for Children
- How Does a Teenager Cross the Road?
In 2016, 4,976 motorcycle riders and passengers died in crashes. The number of nonfatal injuries that year totaled 88,000. Fatalities among motorcycle riders and passengers have increased nearly 3% from 2006, driven largely by an 8% increase in 2015.10 It is crucial that motorcyclists practice basic safety measures to avoid injuries. Although Indiana requires only riders younger than 18 years of age to wear helmets (IC 9-19-7-1), a helmet is the most important safety equipment that every biker should use.
- Motorcycle Helmet Laws to Prevent Motor Vehicle-Related Injury Handout
- Motorcycle Safety Facts and Stats
SCHOOL BUS SAFETY
Every year, some 25 million students nationwide begin and end their day with a trip on a school bus.11 Children and parents need to do their part to stay alert and aware of their surroundings to prevent injury.
- Buses Are the Safest Mode of Transportation for School Children
- School Bus Safety Factsheet
- National School Bus Safety Week (Oct 22 – 26, 2018)—“My Driver—My Safety Hero”
TRUCK AND SEMI SAFETY
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reports that heavy trucks are involved in a high percentage of traffic motor crashes resulting in death, injury and damage to both public and private property. In 2016, truck drivers had a fatal injury rate of 24.7 per 100,000.12
- CDC Trucker Safety (2015)
- Truck Driving Safety Tips
- Traffic Safety Facts Large Trucks 2016 Data (2018)
- Quick Sleep Tips for Truck Drivers (2014)
Off-Road Vehicle (ORV) Safety
Indiana law requires all ORVs to be registered and all children under the age of 18 to wear a helmet while operating an ORV. More information on these laws is provided in the resources directly below. Safety tips for ORVs include wearing the right safety equipment, making sure the ORV is age appropriate and never driving under the influence.
- 2016 Annual Report of ATV-Related Deaths and Injuries
- Off-Road Vehicle Child Helmet Law
- Off-Road Vehicle & Snowmobile Registration
- ATV Training Course
- Indiana ORV Safety Course
- National Center for Health Statistics. (2016). National Vital Statistics System. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/injury/images/lc-charts/leading_causes_of_death_highlighting_unintentional_2016_1040w800h.gif.
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Traffic Safety Facts: 2016 Data: Occupant Protection. U.S. Department of Transportation, Washington, DC; 2018. Publication no. DOT-HS-812-494. Available at https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/812494.
- Indiana Legislative. (2018). General and traffic law. Retrieved August 1, 2018, from http://iga.in.gov/legislative/laws/2018/ic/titles/009#9-19-11-2.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2017). Parents are the key. Retrieved on October 23, 2018, from https://www.cdc.gov/parentsarethekey/.
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). (2016). Traffic Safety Facts 2016: Motor Vehicle Crash Data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) and the General Estimate System (GES). Retrieved on October 23, 2018, from https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/812554.
- Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Fatality facts 2015, Older people. Arlington (VA): IIHS; November 2016. Retrieved on October 29, 2018. Available from http://www.iihs.org/iihs/topics/t/older-drivers/fatalityfacts/older-people/2015.
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (2013). Visual-manual NHTSA driver distraction guidelines for in-vehicle electronic devices: notice of federal guidelines. Federal Register 78(81):24818-24890.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2017). Impaired driving: Get the fact. Retrieved on August 1, 2018, from https://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/impaired_driving/impaired-drv_factsheet.html.
- National Center for Statistics and Analysis. (2015). Pedestrians. Retrieved from https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/812375.
- National Safety Council. (n.d.). Motorcycle safety is a two-way street. Retrieved from https://www.nsc.org/road-safety/safety-topics/motorcycle-safety.
- National Safety Council. (n.d.). Buses are the Safest Mode of Transportation for School Children. Retrieved on October 23, 2018, from https://www.nsc.org/home-safety/tools-resources/seasonal-safety/back-to-school/bus.
- U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2017). Number of fatal work injuries by employee status, 2003–16. Retrieved on October 23, 2018, from https://www.bls.gov/iif/oshwc/cfoi/cfch0015.pdf.
- Consumer Federation of America. (2018). Off-Highway Vehicle Safety and Fatality Data. Consumer Federation of America. Retrieved on October 29, 2018, from https://consumerfed.org/off-highway-vehicle-safety/.
Maria Cariaso, CPST
Injury Prevention Program Coordinator, Division of Trauma and Injury Prevention
Page last updated 12/22/21.