Ignition Locks, Mandatory Helmets can Save More Indiana Lives Annually

car%20key.jpgMandatory bicycle helmets, mandatory ignition lock devices for all drunk driving offenders and other measures can help save more lives in Indiana every year. According to a new report titled The Facts Hurt: a State-By-State Injury Prevention Policy Report, the state of Indiana had the 27th highest rate of injury-related fatalities in the country.

In Indiana, the rate of injury-related fatalities per 100,000 population was 60 per 100,000 population. Overall, the national rate is 57.9 per 100,000 population. Nationally, injuries are the leading cause of death for people between the age of one and 44.

The list was based on how states performed on 10 key indicators. These indicators included everything from seatbelt and motorcycle helmets laws, to the establishment of e-record systems in hospitals to track data.

Indiana scored 5 out of these indicators. Across the country, 24 states including Indiana scored 5 or below. Indiana does not require ignition interlock devices for all drunk driving offenders, and does not have a universal motorcycle helmet law that requires all motorcyclists to wear helmets. Indiana also does not require bicycle helmets for all children which also contributed to the poor rating.

The indicators on which Indiana fared well include seatbelt laws with the state establishing primary enforcement. Indiana also insists that booster seats meet standards by the American Academy of Pediatrics, and allows people in dating relationships to get protective orders if they fear violence.

However, the state could have a much better record in preventing injury-related fatalities if it did more to prevent teen dating violence, and established e-records, which help researchers track hospital injury trends.

Many of the injury prevention strategies that were used as indicators in this report, are proven to save lives. For instance, seatbelts are estimated to have saved approximately 69,000 lives between 2006 and 2010, while motorcycle helmets have saved as many as 8,000 lives nationally between 2005 and 2009.

Some states mandate the installation of ignition lock devices in all vehicles of persons convicted of DUI offenses, including those convicted for the first time. These devices act like a breathalyzer, and measure the amount of alcohol in a person’s system. If the person is found to have alcohol beyond an established limit in his system, the ignition shuts down preventing the person from driving.

These laws have been found to be highly successful in reducing the number of alcohol-related car accidents in the country. There is no reason why they can’t do the same for Indiana, if the state administration shows the foresight required to enact laws like this.

The Indiana personal injury lawyers at Montross Miller Muller Mendelson Kennedy are dedicated to the representation of persons who have been injured in car and truck accidents across Indiana. If you have been injured in a car accident, consult an experienced car accident lawyer at our firm.