Preventing injuries seems simple enough for employers and companies to implement in their operations and for state and local governments to enforce (along with the feds). But how well are the preventative measures working? A new study has just been released by released by the Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) that gives that answer on a state by state basis.
It’s not good. Surprised? According to the research, millions of people could avoid being seriously injured every year if states would pass prevention policies that have been recommended by researchers as helping to keep people safer, and if the states, having passed those laws, would then make sure the policies were being respected and followed.
- 29 states do not require bicycle helmets for all children;
- 17 states do not require that children ride in a car seat or booster seat to at least the age of eight;
- 31 states do not require helmets for all motorcycle riders;
- 34 states and Washington, D.C. do not require mandatory ignition interlocks for convicted drunk drivers;
- 18 states do not have primary seat belt laws;
- 44 states scored a “B” or lower on a teen dating violence law review by the Break the Cycle organization; and
- 13 states do not have strong youth sport concussion safety laws.
“Seat belts, helmets, drunk driving laws, and a range of other strong prevention policies and initiatives are reducing injury rates around the country,” said Amber Williams, executive director of the Safe States Alliance. “However, we could dramatically bring down rates of injuries from motor vehicles, assaults, falls, fires, and a range of other risks even more if more states adopted, enforced, and implemented proven policies. Lack of national capacity and funding are major barriers to states adopting these and other policies.”
So, where do Indiana and Illinois stand among all the states? From the study, with zero as the lowest score possible and ten as the highest, Illinois got a 7 and Indiana a 5:
- 9 out of 10: California and New York
- 8 out of 10: Maryland, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island and Washington
- 7 out of 10: Connecticut, Washington, D.C., Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico and Tennessee
- 6 out of 10: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maine, Nebraska, Virginia and Wisconsin
- 5 out of 10: Arkansas, Colorado, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Vermont and West Virginia
- 4 out of 10: Michigan, Mississippi, Nevada and New Hampshire
- 3 out of 10: Idaho, Kentucky, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota and Wyoming
- 2 out of 10: Montana and Ohio