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US Preventive Services Task Force. Automobile injury–selected risk factors and prevention in the health care setting

Every year, highway crashes cause tens of thousands of deaths and millions of nonfatal injuries, many of which can be prevented. Following a mandate from the US Preventive Services Task Force, in this article we describe the magnitude of the automobile injury problem, identify injury risk factors that might be reduced by clinically based preventive programs, and review reports of interventions by health professionals to promote the use of child restraint devices, the only area in which we found published evaluations. We conclude that despite the lack of experimental evidence of the long-term effectiveness of clinically based efforts to promote occupant restraint use, such efforts may be warranted because of the enormous social and economic costs of automobile injury. In addition, physicians and other health professionals are urged to consider promoting nonclinical automobile injury prevention measures.

Authors: Polen MR; Friedman GD

JAMA. 1988 Jan 1;259(1):76-80.

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