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Community-Based Interventions to Reduce Motor Vehicle-Related Injuries: Evidence of Effectiveness from Systematic Reviews

Motor vehicle-related injuries kill more children and young adults than any other single cause in the United States.

More than 41,000 people in the United States die in motor vehicle crashes each year, and crash injuries result in about 500,000 hospitalizations and four million emergency department visits annually. The economic burden of motor vehicle-related deaths and injuries is also enormous, costing the United States more than $150 billion each year.

The American Journal of Preventive Medicine (AJPM) recently released a special supplement containing systematic reviews and

Strength of Evidence Scale 

strong evidenceRecommended 
(strong evidence)

sufficient evidence Recommended 
(sufficient evidence)

question markInsufficient Evidence to Recommend Effectiveness 

 recommendations regarding 13 community-based interventions to reduce motor vehicle-related injuries and deaths. The Guide to Community Preventive Services. Reducing Injuries to Motor Vehicle Occupants: Systematic Reviews of Evidence, Recommendations from the Task Force on Community Preventive Services, and Expert Commentary highlights results from systematic reviews of scientific literature on interventions to decrease alcohol-impaired driving, increase the use of child safety seats, and increase use of safety belts. The Task Force on Community Preventive Services, an independent, nonfederal panel of community health experts, issued their recommendations, based on demonstrated evidence of effectiveness from the reviews coordinated by CDC.

An overview and descriptions of the interventions are available on the Community Guide web site.

This AJPM issue is the third in a series of supplements on the effectiveness of public health interventions. In 2002, these will be compiled into the Guide to Community Preventive Services, a resource for policymakers and public health practitioners. The findings can be used to support or expand local motor vehicle injury prevention programs and to promote the adoption, maintenance, or strengthening of state or national traffic safety laws. To learn more about the Guide to Community Preventive Services, go to


Interventions to Reduce Alcohol-Impaired Driving

Sobriety Checkpoints strong evidence Recommended 
(strong evidence)
“Zero Tolerance” Laws for Young Drivers sufficient evidence Recommended 
(sufficient evidence)
Reducing Legal Blood Alcohol Concentration to 0.08% strong evidence Recommended 
(strong evidence)
Minimum Legal Drinking Age Laws strong evidence Recommended 
(strong evidence)
Server Intervention Training Programs (Face-to-Face Instruction with Management Support) sufficient evidence Recommended 
(sufficient evidence)
Mass Media Campaigns to Reduce Alcohol-Impaired Driving (Under Certain Conditions) strong evidenceRecommended 
(strong evidence)
School-Based Health Promotion Programs sufficient evidenceRecommended to Reduce Riding with a Drinking Driver 
(sufficient evidence)

question markInsufficient Evidence for Reducing Drinking and Driving
Designated Driver Promotion Programs question markInsufficient Evidence 
Multifaceted Community-Based Programs strong evidenceRecommended (strong evidence)
Ignition Interlock Programs for Convicted Offenders Review Pending


Interventions to Increase the Use of Child Safety Seats  

Child Safety Seat Use Laws strong evidence Recommended 
(strong evidence)
Community-Wide Information + Enhanced Enforcement Campaigns:  sufficient evidence Recommended 
(sufficient evidence)
Distribution + Education Programs:  strong evidence Recommended 
(strong evidence)
Incentive + Education Programs: sufficient evidence Recommended 
(sufficient evidence)
Education-Only Programs question markInsufficient Evidence 


Interventions to Increase the Use of Safety Belts

Safety Belt Use Laws strong evidence Recommended 
(strong evidence)
Primary Enforcement Laws (Versus Secondary Enforcement Laws) strong evidence Recommended 
(strong evidence)
Enhanced Enforcement Programs strong evidence Recommended 
(strong evidence)


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Content Source: National Center for Injury Prevention and Control: Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention
Page last modified:July 30, 2007