Table 2-30: Estimated Number of Lives Saved by Occupant Protection, Motorcycle Helmets, and Drinking Age Law

Table 2-30: Estimated Number of Lives Saved by Occupant Protection, Motorcycle Helmets, and Drinking Age Law

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  1975-1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 Total
1975-2003
Safety beltsa,b 68,940 (R) 9,882 (R) 10,710 (R) 11,259 (R) 11,680 (R) 11,941 (R) 12,882 (R) 13,295 14,264 14,903 179,756
Air bags 730 (R) 536 (R) 783 (R) 973 (R) 1,208 (R) 1,491 (R) 1,716 (R) 1,978 2,324c 2,488 11,903
Motorcycle helmets (R) 15,077 (R) 624 (R) 617 (R) 862 (R) 660 (R) 745 (R) 872 (R) 947 (R) 992 1,158 (R) 22,554
Age 21 minimum legal drinking age 14,816 851 846 846 861 901 922 927 922 906 22,798
Child restraints 3,107 (R) 408 (R) 480 (R) 444 (R) 438 (R) 447 (R) 479 (R) 388 383 446 7,020

KEY: R = revised.

a Represents all adults and children age 5 and older. Data are for passenger vehicles and light trucks, which include cars, vans, pickups, and sports utility vehicles. Excludes medium and heavy trucks.

b In 2002, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) revised its method for estimating lives saved by safety belts. The previous method included survey data from states with and without belt use laws. The current method relies on police-reported restraint use information for each individual occupant fatality. Also, the estimate now includes lives saved in passenger vehicles at all seating positions, where previously it had been front outboard positions only.

c In 2002, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration revised the method for calculating lives saved by air bags.

SOURCES

Motorcycle helmets:

1975-2001: U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Traffic Safety Fact Sheet 2001: Motorcycles, DOT HS 809 473 (Washington, DC: 2002) and personal communication, Apr. 5, 2000.

2002: Ibid., Traffic Safety Fact Sheet 2002: Motorcycles, DOT HS 809 609 (Washington, DC: 2003), Internet site http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/departments/nrd-30/ncsa/AvailInf.html as of Sep. 21, 2004.

2003: Ibid., Traffic Safety Fact Sheet 2003: Motorcycles, DOT HS 809 764 (Washington, DC: 2004), Internet site http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/departments/nrd-30/ncsa/AvailInf.html as of Sept. 21, 2004 and personal communication Nov. 21, 2004.

Minimum drinking age:

1975-2001: Ibid., Traffic Safety Fact Sheet 2001: Alcohol, DOT HS 809 470 (Washington, DC: 2002), and personal communication, Apr. 5, 2000.

2002-03: Ibid., Traffic Safety Fact Sheet 2003: Young Drivers, DOT HS 809 774 (Washington, DC: 2004), Internet site http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/departments/nrd-30/ncsa/AvailInf.html as of Sept. 21, 2004.

Occupant protection:

1975-2001: Ibid., Traffic Safety Fact Sheet 2001: Occupant Protection, DOT HS 809 474 (Washington, DC: 2002) and personal communication, Apr. 5, 2000.

2002: Ibid., Traffic Safety Fact Sheet 2002: Occupant Protection, DOT 809 610 (Washington, DC: 2003), Internet site http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/departments/nrd-30/ncsa/AvailInf.html as of Sept. 21, 2004.

2003: Ibid., Traffic Safety Fact Sheet 2003: Occupant Protection, DOT 809 765 (Washington, DC: 2004) , Internet site http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/departments/nrd-30/ncsa/AvailInf.html as of Sept. 21, 2004.