Safety belts and public health: The role of medical practitioners

Kenneth W Kizer, R. B. Trent

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Medical practitioners have helped the public become aware of the importance of health-promoting life-style changes such as getting more exercise and abstaining from smoking. They can likewise help their patients protect themselves from the threat of automobile crash injury. Safety belt use remains too low, and increased use offers unusual potential for averting death and disability. Various characteristics associated with a failure to use safety belts can be used to help identify patients at high risk of traffic injury. These include male sex, persons who are ethnic minorities, young people, poor people, those with low educational levels, and persons with negative attitudes to seat belt use. Various methods and resources are available to help practitioners provide appropriate safety belt advice to patients, although the specific resources available vary from place to place. At a minimum, patients need to be told that a proper use of occupant protection can at least double the chances of avoiding death or severe injury in an automobile crash.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)303-306
Number of pages4
JournalWestern Journal of Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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