An ounce of seatbelt use is worth a pound of medical bills.
According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention, car accidents are the leading cause of injury and death in the United States year after year. Americans spend up to one million days each year in the hospital due to automobile accidents, and crash injury medical treatment can cost up to 18 billion dollars a year.
While state by state data on crash-injuries is not tabulated, the CDC’s recommendations for safety have improved injury and fatality rates for more than a decade. They recommend several of the following:
1. Wear your seatbelt.
According to CDC data, wearing a seatbelt is the single most important thing you can do to prevent injury or death during an automobile accident. More than half of the people killed in car crashes were not restrained at the time of the accident. In fact, among drivers and front seat passengers, wearing a seatbelt can reduce your chances of dying a car accident by up to 45 percent and reduce your risk of injuries by even more.
2. Put your children in the right car seat.
In Montana, the penalty for not using a child restraints system can be a fine of up to $100.
However, the results of not securing your child in the proper seat could be much worse. Infant seats improve a baby’s chances of surviving a motor vehicle accidents by as much as 71 percent.
3. Stay sober.
The CDC also advises states to carefully monitor the roads for drunk drivers. Montana, in particular, has a problem with drunk drivers. They are among the top states for drunk-driving related fatalities. Compared to the national average, Montana has nearly double the drunk driving fatalities. In fact, 923 people were killed in drunk-driving accidents between 2003 and 2012.
Sober drivers involved in car accidents are more likely to be wearing seatbelts and going the speed limit, and more likely to survive their accidents. Sober drivers are also much less likely to be involved in an accident in the first place.