Trends in adult motor vehicle occupant mortality: Mortality declines of front-seated occupants have outpaced those of rear-seated occupants
Methods. The Fatality Analysis Reporting System (2000-2012) (FARS) was used to examine trends in MV occupant mortality in front vs. rear-seated adult occupants aged 18 years and older (n=639,571). Cochrane-Armitage test for trends (P) was used to analyze occupant, crash, and vehicle characteristics across vehicle types (passenger cars, SUVs and pickup trucks) manufactured between 1970-2012.
Results. Total mortality declined in front-seated (45.8% vs. 43.4%, P<0.0001), but not in rear-seated occupants (30.1% vs. 30.3%, P=0.975). For front-seated occupants, this trend was observed for passenger cars only (49.9% vs. 47.4%, P<0.0001). Overtime, belt use increased in both front and rear-seated FARS occupants, but rear-seated belt use continued to lag that of front-seated occupants in 2012 (48.1% vs. 70.7%). Mortality trends increased for unbelted occupants (63.0% vs. 70.6%, P <0.0001), but decreased for belted occupants (31.1% vs. 29.6%, P<0.0001), with the decrease attributable to front-seat occupants. Belted rear-seated occupants did not show statistically significant mortality improvement (18.0% vs. 17.3% P=0.94) while rear-seated unbelted mortality increased (36.0% vs. 42.5%, P <0.0001). Passenger cars decreased as a proportion of the vehicle fleet, but the proportion of front to rear-seated occupants was stable over time.
Conclusions. Mortality declines in adult MV occupants are due primarily to improvements in front-seated occupants traveling in passenger cars.
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Discuss the relative contribution of adult front vs. rear-seated occupant mortality to trends in declining adult MV occupant mortality Explain the relative contribution of seatbelt usage to front and rear-seat mortality trends Discuss fleet changes over time and future implications for MV occupant mortality
Keyword(s): Mortality, Motor Vehicles
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Nicholas Moloci is a current graduate student in the department of epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University in the City of New York. Nicholas is a graduate of the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, with a degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering. Nicholas has had his research published in the journals JAMA Internal Medicine, Cancer and The Oncologist.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
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