Sunday, March 01, 2009

Is Sex Change and Migration the Most Effective Way to Prevent Traffic Fatalities?
MMWR February 27, 2009 / 58(07);161-165
Motor Vehicle--Related Death Rates --- United States, 1999--2005
"In 2005, the most recent year for which data are available, 45,520 deaths in the United States were related to motor vehicles (1). A Healthy People 2010 objective calls for reducing the rate of deaths related to motor vehicles to 9.2 per 100,000 population from a baseline of 15.6 in 1998 (2). ...during 1999--2005, although annual age-adjusted motor vehicle--related death rates overall were nearly unchanged (range: 15.2--15.7 per 100,000 population), substantial differences were observed by state, U.S. Census region,* sex, race, and age group. Among states, the average annual death rate ranged from 7.9 per 100,000 population in Massachusetts to 31.9 in Mississippi. Among regions, the rate ranged from 9.8 per 100,000 population in the Northeast to 19.5 in the South. The rate for men (21.7 per 100,000 population) was more than double the rate for women (9.4);

"...During an earlier period, from 1969 to 1992, the overall annual rate of motor vehicle--related deaths in the United States decreased 43%, from 27.7 per 100,000 population§ to 15.8 (1), a rate only slightly higher than the rate observed during 1999--2005."
BrooklynDodger(s) Comment: Transportation injuries are important for occupational health, injury control needs greater recognition as part of public health, and traffic injuries become the frame through which practioners see many other injuries. So, the Dodger(s) will be making (snarky comments) about this important current report. The authors acknowledge that these data must be adjusted for vehicle miles driven, and for type of road. What would we think of an industry whose products, used as expected, kill over 45,000 Americans a year? That industry includes not just the vehicle makers, but the road makers, the transporation planners, the traffic cops, etc.

Intervention should be data based. From the numbers quoted here, whatever the intervention was between 1969 and 2002, it either stopped or stopped working having reached the limits of effectiveness. Sounding silly, the most obvious reductions could be achieved if men living in Missisippi (or the South in general) became women living in Massachusetts (or the Northeast.) Since the public health system can't achieve that transgender and geographic migration, what could be achieved?

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