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Study outlines 10 steps states can take to avoid injuries

May 22, 2012
by Janice Lloyd
USA Today

 

Millions of injuries could be prevented every year if states adopted and enforced a set of laws and health policies with proven track records for saving lives, according to a first-of-a-kind, state-by-state report out today.

18 states do not have primary seat belt laws, which would allow officers to pull drivers over for not wearing a seatbelt.

Injuries are the leading cause of death for Americans between the ages of 1 and 44, and the third leading cause of death overall. About 50 million Americans get medical treatment for injuries every year. Yet 24 states have enacted only half of 10 injury-prevention measures examined in the study, by the Trust for America's Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. No state has approved all 10 measures, which range from seat belt laws to sports concussion safety laws, but California andNew York scored the highest, with nine each. Montana and Ohio scored lowest, with two each.

 

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