Introduction: This study estimated the 1995 state-level prevalence of occupant restraint use for children and adults, child bicycle helmet use, not drinking and driving, and installation and regular checking of smoke detectors.
Methods: Data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) were weighted to reflect the age, sex, and racial distribution of each state. State prevalence estimates were ranked by quartile.
Results: Prevalence estimates for five of the six behaviors varied widely across states. Use of safety belts among adults ranged from 41.5 to 87.3% (median 66.7%); use of child occupant restraints, 62.3 to 95.7% (80.8%); not drinking and driving within the past 30 days, 94.7- 99.4% (97.8%); smoke detector installation, 78.9 to 98.7% (94.1%); monthly checking of smoke detectors, 31.3- 51.2% (40.4%); and child use of bicycle helmets, 9. 3 to 62.8% (23.1%). Certain states had consistently poor quartile rankings. States with behavior-relevant laws appeared to have the highest level of associated safety practices for impaired driving, adult occupant restraint use, and bicycle helmet use.
Conclusions: Injury risk taking behaviors appear to cluster. States with consistently poor quartile rankings should consider more concerted injury prevention efforts. Health care providers can play an important role in increasing the prevalence of injury prevention behaviors by providing age-appropriate counseling to their patients.