DefinitionThe number of outpatient emergency department (ED) encounters/inpatient hospitalizations for motor vehicle crash injuries per 10,000 persons in the population. This includes persons who may have died as a result of their injuries. ICD-9 Codes: E810-E819, E958.5, E968.5, E988.5.
NumeratorED encounters: The number of emergency department encounters for motor vehicle crash injuries.
Hospitalizations: The number of hospitalizations for motor vehicle crash injuries.
DenominatorTotal number of persons in the population of Utah.
Data Interpretation IssuesAll injury cases for this indicator are consistent with the injury case definitions found in the Consensus Recommendations for Using Hospital Discharge Data for Injury Surveillance (2003) developed by the State and Territorial Injury Program Directors Association (STIPDA) Injury Surveillance Workgroup.
ICD 9 stands for International Classification of Diseases. It is a coding system maintained by the World Health Organization and the U.S. Center of Health Statistics used to classify causes of death on death certificates and diagnoses, injury causes, and medical procedures for hospital and emergency department visits. The U.S. is currently using the 10th revision to code causes of death. The 9th revision (ICD-9) is still used for hospital and emergency department visits.
Why Is This Important?Utah hospitalization and ED charges are greater for injuries sustained from motor vehicle crashes (MVC) than from any other injury causes except falls. In 2006, the total treat-and-release ED charges for MVC injuries came to just under $27 million while total hospitalization charges were nearly $50 million. Moreover, most motor vehicle crash injuries are preventable.
How Are We Doing?In recent years the number of persons arriving in the emergency department due to injuries from motor vehicle crashes has decreased significantly, both in rates and in real numbers. Since 1999, the age-adjusted rate for total MVC ED visits has gone from 105.2 per 10,000 or 24,495 MVCs to 82.8 per 10,000 or 22,296 MVCs in 2006. This is a 21.3% decrease in 7 years. However, in terms of economic impact, progress due to fewer crash related visits have been substantially offset by the overall total dollar cost of those visits, which has nearly doubled from 1999 to 2006.
How Do We Compare With the U.S.?For the year 2006, the Utah age-adjusted rate of MVC ED visits was 82.8 per 10,000 population which was substantially lower that the U.S. age-adjusted rate of 106.9 per 10,000 population.
What Is Being Done?In 1998, the Utah Legislature enacted a "graduated driver licensing" law to address the problem of teenage driving and MVCs. By requiring newly-licensed drivers to be accompanied by a parent or other experienced driver for the first six months, the law aims to help teenage drivers develop responsible driving behaviors.
The Utah Legislature has also passed a variety of laws to promote safety belt usage, but there is room for improvement. A 2007 observational study by the Utah Highway Safety Office indicates 86.8% of Utahns are using seat belts.
Transportation agencies also play a role in decreasing crashes as they design and build safer roadways. The Utah Comprehensive Safety Plan was a collaborative effort by the federal government, state agencies, and public and private businesses that outlines strategies for reducing MVC in Utah. The plan can be downloaded at http://www.dot.state.ut.us/main/f?p=100:pg:6769040230824169:::1:T,V:1998.
Health Program InformationThe Utah Department of Health Violence and Injury Prevention Program (VIPP) and local health departments are targeting a wide range of community-based traffic safety interventions that encourage pedestrian and bicycle safety, including Green Ribbon Month, Walk to School Day, and pedestrian and bicycle rodeos. Bicycle safety interventions include supporting National Bike Month in May, promoting helmet use, and instructing bicyclists and drivers on road safety. The VIPP also conducts an annual statewide observational survey to determine helmet use rates.
Safe Kids Utah has been a catalyst in statewide efforts to increase child safety restraint use. By partnering with community service agencies, the Utah Department of Public Safety, and other organizations, Safe Kids Utah has distributed thousands of low- and no-cost car safety seats and booster seats and educated hundreds of thousands of Utah families about the importance of using safety restraints. VIPP also promotes traffic safety through the media and by networking with a variety of statewide partners.