Native Village
Youth and Education news
 Volume 3  February 2011

CDC programs reduce alcohol-related vehicle deaths among Indigenous
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Motor vehicle accidents are the greatest cause of injuries to American Indian/Alaska Natives ages 1 - 44.  Major causes are low rates of seat belt use, low rates of child safety seat use, and a higher prevalence of alcohol-impaired driving. From 2003-2007

The rates of AI/AN infants killed in motor vehicle accidents was three times greater than whites.
For AI/AN adolescents aged
19 years and younger, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of injury-related death.

In 2006, AI/ANs had the highest percentage (
48%) of alcohol-impaired driving fatalities among all racial/ethnic populations.

With funds from the The Center for Disease Control, four tribes have created pilot programs to reduced motor vehicle-related injuries and deaths in their communities. Among the results:

The Tohono O'odham Nation passed a primary seat belt law. Police may stop and ticket drivers who aren't wearing seat belts. Driver seat belt use has increased 47%. Passenger seat belt use increased 62%

Efforts by the Ho-Chunk Nation have raised driver seat belt use by 38% and passenger seat belt use by 94%. Child safety seat use is now 76%. 

The White Mountain Apache Tribe now has 24 sobriety checkpoints and have stopped 13,408 vehicles. Seat belt use has increased from 13% to 54%.  Passenger seat belt use increased from 10% to 32%.

The San Carlos ApacheTribe passed a primary seat belt law and a .08 blood alcohol concentration. DUI arrests have increased by 52%, and driver seat belt use has increased 46%. Motor vehicle crashes have decreased 29%.

The CDC's Injury Center will now help fund the motor vehicle safety efforts of eight new tribes. They are:

Caddo Nation of Oklahoma

California Rural Indian Health Board

Colorado River Indian Tribes

Hopi Tribe of Arizona

Oglala Sioux Tribe of South Dakota

Rosebud Sioux Tribe of South Dakota

Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate of the Lake Traverse Reservation

Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium

When the CDC's funding cycle ends in 2014, they will publish a best practice and lessons learned manual for use in tribal communities across the United States


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