Safety-belt use and motor-vehicle-related injuries--Navajo Nation, 1988-1991

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 1992 Sep 25;41(38):705-8.


Injuries are the second leading cause of death among American Indians and Alaskan Natives; during 1986-1988, injuries accounted for 22% of all deaths (1). The risk for motor-vehicle-related injury deaths is nearly threefold higher among American Indians and Alaskan Natives than among the total U.S. population (age-adjusted death rates: 57.5 per 100,000 versus 19.5 per 100,000) (1-3). For residents of many rural, western, Indian reservations, age-adjusted motor-vehicle-related death rates are substantially higher; in particular, the rates for Navajos* are fivefold greater than for the total U.S. population (97.9 per 100,000 versus 19.5 per 100,000) (1) and almost three times the rate for all New Mexico residents (35.2 per 100,000) (4). To increase safety-belt use by front-seat occupants and thereby reduce motor-vehicle-related injuries, the Navajo Area Indian HealtH Service (IHS) Office of Environmental Health and Engineering, the Navajo Department of Highway Safety, and the Navajo Nation implemented a primary enforcement safety-belt use law and educational campaign. This report summarizes results of their effort.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic / mortality*
  • Adult
  • Arizona / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Indians, North American / statistics & numerical data*
  • Male
  • New Mexico / epidemiology
  • Risk-Taking
  • Seat Belts / statistics & numerical data*
  • Utah / epidemiology
  • Wounds and Injuries / mortality*