On September 22, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released the study Rural and Urban Differences in Passenger-Vehicle–Occupant Deaths and Seat Belt Use Among Adults — United States, 2014. This study presents the differences in death rates per 100,000 population, showing that in all regions, the death rates were 3 – 10 times higher in rural areas than urban areas, depending on the region.
The authors emphasize seat belt use as an effective transportation safety intervention for vehicle occupants. “The study concludes: Seat belt use prevented an estimated 64,000 deaths in the United States during 2011–2015. Although self-reported levels of seat belt use reached 86.9% in 2014, a marked increase in recent decades, the small percentage who still do not always use seat belts represent almost half of all occupant deaths in the United States, and rural residents are disproportionately affected.”
For more health resources on transportation safety, visit the CDC’s Motor Vehicle Safety website.