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Health Indicator Report of Motor Vehicle Crash Emergency Department Visits and Hospitalizations

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.

MVC ED Visits, Utah and U.S., 2001-2007


ICD-9 Codes: E810-E819, E958.5, E968.5, E988.5.   [[br]] [[br]] At 82.8 per 10,000 population (2006), Utah's MVC ED visit rate is substantially lower than the U.S. rate (106.9 per 10,000 in 2007). Utah has consistently had a lower rate than the U.S. overall and this difference has been statistically significant. Both for Utah and the U.S. overall, there has been a decline in MVC ED visits since 2001. In 2001, the U.S. rate of MVC ED visits was 122 per 10,000 population. In Utah the rate was 97 per 10,000 population in 2001. In 2007 the U.S. rate was 107 per 10,000 population, a decrease of 12% over six years. In 2006 the Utah rate was 83 per 10,000 population, a decrease of 14% over five years. Utah's lower MVC ED rate is likely the combination of several factors including an above average use of seatbelts[1] and fewer fatal crashes per 100 million miles driven (a 5-year average of 1.24 deaths per 100 million miles driven) as compared to the U.S. overall of 1.48 deaths per 100 million miles driven[2]. [[br]] [[br]] Both U.S. and Utah data are age-adjusted (2000 U.S. standard population). ED visits include all ED visits, not just treat-and-release. National data estimates are based on weighted data from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission's (CPSC) National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS).

Data Sources

  • National Center for Injury Prevention and Control's Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS)
  • Emergency Department Encounter Database, Bureau of Emergency Medical Services, Utah Department of Health

Data Interpretation Issues

All 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.


The 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.


ED encounters: The number of emergency department encounters for motor vehicle crash injuries. Hospitalizations: The number of hospitalizations for motor vehicle crash injuries.


Total number of persons in the population of Utah.

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,V:1998.

Available Services

Call 1-888-DASH-2-DOT (1-888-327-4236) for information on child safety seats.

Health Program Information

The 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.
Page Content Updated On 04/04/2012, Published on 07/27/2015
The information provided above is from the Department of Health's Center for Health Data IBIS-PH web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: " Retrieved Sat, 19 October 2019 3:14:19 from Department of Health, Center for Health Data, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site: ".

Content updated: Thu, 20 Jun 2019 13:03:27 MDT