Study Ranking States’ Success at Injury Prevention Gives Average Scores to Indiana

Indiana ranks in the middle of the fifty states and the District of Columbia when it comes to injury prevention, according to a recent study. The study, entitled “The Facts Hurt: A State-By-State Injury Prevention Policy Report,” is the work of the Trust for America’s Health (TFAH), a health care policy organization, in partnership with the philanthropic Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The study ranks states and D.C. based on ten “key indicators” relating to injury prevention laws or regulations. Indiana has five of the ten. It also ranks the states based on the total number of annual injury-related deaths per 100,000 people. With a rate of 60.4, Indiana ties Kansas for the twenty-seventh highest rate.

The study analyzed injury data, which it says account for 180,000 deaths per year in America. The lifetime costs of injuries in the U.S., which includes both immediate costs and ongoing care needs, as well as lost income and productivity, exceeded $406 billion in 2000. Injuries, as compared to communicable and non-communicable disease, are the leading cause of death for Americans between the ages of one and forty-four. At 97.8 njury-related deaths per 100,000 people, New Mexico has the highest annual rate. New Jersey, with 36.1, has the lowest. Indiana and Kansas, tied at twenty-seventh, are almost exactly in the middle.

To develop a list of key indicators, TFAH divided the different types of injuries into five broad groups. Most of the key indicators motor vehicle injuries, and another group covers other vehicle injuries, such as bicycles. Violence-related injuries account for two of the key indicators. Poisoning, which may include toxic substances accidentally ingested and drug overdoses, accounts for one key indicator. The final category includes a broad group of “falls, drowning and sports- and recreation-related injuries.”

Indiana’s five key indicators put it in the largest cohort of states, joining sixteen others. No state had everyone one of these key indicators, although California and New York have nine each. Montana and Ohio each only have two of the ten.

Indiana’s five key indicators include:

– Primary seat belt laws;
– Booster seat requirements for all kids up to eight-years-old;
– Laws that allow people who are dating to get protective orders;
– Laws to protect kids from concussions in sports and other activities; and – A prescription drug monitoring program.

The five remaining key indicators that Indiana lacks are:

– Required ignition interlock devices for all convicted drunk drivers, even first-time offenders;
– A mandatory motorcycle helmet law;
– Bicycle helmet requirements for children;
– An “A” grade on a 2010 review of teen dating violence laws by the group Break the Cycle (Indiana received a “B”); and – Use of external cause-of-injury codes, which can allow monitoring of injury statistics, in at least ninety percent of hospital discharges after treatment of injuries.

The Indiana injury attorneys at Parr Richey Frandsen Patterson Kruse represent the interests of accident victims and their families, helping them to obtain compensation for their damages. To schedule a free and confidential consultation with one of our lawyers, contact us today online or at (888) 532-7766.

Web Resources:

The Facts Hurt: A State-by-State Injury Prevention Policy Report (PDF), The Trust for America’s Health, May 2012
2010 State Law Report Card: Indiana, Break the Cycle, 2010
More Blog Posts:
Indiana Court of Appeals Awards Prejudgment Interest to Plaintiff in Lake County Auto Accident Case, Indiana Injury Lawyer Blog, March 11, 2012
Indiana Court of Appeals Determined Pendleton, Indiana Motorist Owed a Duty of Care to Motorcyclist After Waiving Motorcyclist Through Intersection Indicating it was Clear, Indiana Injury Lawyer Blog, February 29, 2012

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