Motor Vehicle Safety

motor vehicle safety

Clinical Strategies

Guide to Clinical Preventive Services is the gold standard among clinician guides on preventive patient care. It addresses disease and risk factor screening and counseling about health behaviors. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, convened by the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, develops the Guide’s recommendations based on scientific evidence of effectiveness.

Clinical Guide Recommendations for Motor Vehicle Safety Counseling

All Patients + the Parents of Young Patients:
Counsel to:

  • Use occupant restraints (lap/shoulder safety belts and child safety seats).
  • Wear helmets when riding motorcycles.
  • Refrain from driving while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs.


Clinical Guide Recommendations for Problem Drinking Interventions

All Adults and Adolescents
  • Screen all adult and adolescent patients to detect problem drinkingby taking a history of alcohol use and/or using standardized screening questionnaires.
All Alcohol Users
  • Counsel all those who use alcohol about the dangers of operating a motor vehicleor performing other potentially dangerous activities after drinking alcohol.
  • Refer patients to treatment services as appropriate.


Clinical Guide Recommendations for Screening for Visual Impairment Among Older Adults

Older Adults
  • Screen older adults for poor vision with the Snellen visual acuity chart. Make referrals to specialists as appropriate.(Under-corrected vision among older adults is a likely risk factor for motor vehicle injury.)



Population Strategies

Guide to Community Preventive Services or “Community Guide” details effective community-based strategies to promote and safeguard health. These might include media campaigns, educational programs, policy changes, or regulatory action. It is being developed by an independent task force convened by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

These tables summarize the Community Guide’s recommendations to promote motor vehicle safety. The Community Guide Web site explains each recommendation in detail.

Interventions to Increase the Use of Child Safety Seats
Child Safety Seat Use Laws Strong Evidence of Effectiveness
Community-wide Information +Law Enforcement Campaigns Sufficient Evidence of Effectiveness
Safety Seat Distribution + Education Programs Strong Evidence of Effectiveness
Incentive + Education Programs Sufficient Evidence of Effectiveness


Interventions to Increase the Use of Safety Belts
Safety Belt Use Laws Strong Evidence of Effectiveness
Primary Enforcement Laws(allowing vehicles to be stopped solely for seat belt enforcement) Strong Evidence of Effectiveness
Enhanced Law Enforcement Programs Strong Evidence of Effectiveness


Interventions to Reduce Alcohol-impaired Driving
0.08% Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) Laws Strong Evidence of Effectiveness
Lower BAC Laws for Inexperienced Drivers Sufficient Evidence of Effectiveness
Minimum Legal Drinking Age Laws Strong Evidence of Effectiveness
Sobriety Checkpoints Strong Evidence of Effectiveness
Server Intervention Programs(Face-to-face, management-supported instruction for wait staff and bartenders) Sufficient Evidence of Effectiveness
Mass Media Campaigns Strong Evidence of Effectiveness