Around 50 million people across the country receive medical attention for injuries every year. Unfortunately, many people do not survive, making injuries the leading cause of death for people ages 1 to 44, and the third-leading cause of death in all ages. Louisiana’s rate of injury-related deaths of 80.1 per 100,000 is significantly higher than the national rate of 57.9.

A recent study suggests that millions of these injuries could be prevented if states adopted laws recommended and proven to save lives. A mandatory ignition interlock in convicted drunk drivers’ cars may reduce the 30 fatal car accidents a day in America involving a drunk driver, according to the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. However, only 26 states have enacted such a law.

Even though seat belts have contributed to saving around 69,000 lives from 2006 to 2010, 18 states have not allowed police officers to ticket a driver for the sole offense of neglecting to wear a seat belt. Instead of a primary seat belt law, they have secondary seat belt laws where the ticket for not wearing a seatbelt can only be issued if some other offense was committed.

The two groups developed a list of safety and injury prevention measures in conjunction with safety experts. Their study concluded that only 24 states followed even half of the measures, with none implementing all 10.

Regardless of the law, parents are well served to enforce seat belt and car seat use for their children to reduce the number of accidents on Louisiana streets. However, despite their best efforts, some drivers may be involved in an accident due to someone else’s negligence and suffer injuries that require medical treatment. They should consider consulting an experienced lawyer to file a possible personal injury claim to make compensation available for medical bills.

Source: The Town Talk, “Report: Louisiana’s injury-related death rate exceeds national rate,” May 22, 2012