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    Motor vehicle crashes (MVCs) are a leading cause of death in the United States. The economic impact of crash deaths and injuries is substantial, even beyond the immeasurable loss and hardship for families and friends of those killed or injured. Each year, fatal crashes result in about $430 billion in medical costs and cost estimates for lives lost (CDC WISQARS 2022). About half of occupants who died in crashes were unrestrained, and more than one quarter of crash deaths involved alcohol-impaired driving, (NHTSA Summary of Motor Vehicle Crashes 2021). Data limitations prevent calculation of the proportion of crash deaths involving drugs, but drug- and polysubstance-impaired driving is of increasing concern. Additionally, children, teens, older adults, and people from some racial and ethnic minority groups are at particular risk in both urban and rural settings. For example, older adults are more likely to suffer serious injury or death in a motor vehicle crash than younger adults. Widespread implementation of proven strategies (such as mandatory ignition interlocks for all offenders—including first-time offenders, primary seat belt laws that cover all seating positions, child passenger safety laws that require proper car seat and booster seat use until at least age 9) can reduce motor vehicle crashes, injuries, and fatalities.


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