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Why Do Some Minority Groups Suffer Greater Risk from Georgia Car Accidents?

June 20, 2011

While car accidents cannot discriminate, they do affect minority groups at a much higher rate than non-minority groups. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are a number of major risk factors that have attributed to an increased risk of injuries sustained in auto accidents by certain ethnic groups including American Indians.

Injuries in auto accidents are the leading cause of death for American Indians and the third leading cause of death overall. The factors that contribute to the increased risk of injury vary widely from reservation to reservation, but they can be boiled down to a few that reportedly are consistent between tribes:

  • Minimum Seat Belt Use: The overall rate of seat belt use across reservations is only about 55.4% according to the NHTSA. The range is anywhere from a low of 8.8% to a high of 84.8%.
  • Minimum Child Safety Seat Use: The use of child safety seats by the American Indians is much lower than the national average. The use on the reservations ranged from only 12-21%. The national average was 7-87%.
  • Driving While Impaired with Alcohol (Drunk Driving): Among ethnic populations American Indians have the highest alcohol-related motor vehicle mortality rates.

In the years from 1982-2002, 65 percent of crashes on reservations were alcohol-related as compared to 47 percent nationwide. Motor vehicle-related deaths for Native American adults are more than twice that of whites and almost twice that of blacks. The total injury death rates for infants under the age of one year is also more than that of other ethnic groups.

The group in the American Indian population who is most at risk though is children 19 years and younger. This group has the highest injury-related death rate for motor vehicle crashes when compared with blacks and whites. The following could reduce these motor vehicle crash-related injuries and deaths:

  • Using Occupant Restraints: The use of child safety seats can reduce the risk of death by 71 percent for infants and by 54% for toddlers ages 1-4 years of age.
  • Primary Seat Belt Laws: Evidence shows that primary seat belt laws increase seat belt use. Any seat belt laws will increase the use overall.
  • Impaired Driving Prevention: Strict enforcement of DUI laws and minimum age drinking laws can greatly reduce the number of car accidents. This can reduce alcohol-related crashes by 17-25 percent. Education programs to teach about prevention can also be effective.
  • Helping Teens Drive Safer: The use of graduated driver licensing programs (GDL’s) such as we have in Georgia is instrumental in reducing accidents by 38-40 percent.

Auto accidents affect everyone, but some cultures are obviously affected more so than others based on a number of specific risk factors, such as the ones mentioned. Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, has been representing people in Georgia who suffer catastrophic injury or wrongful death in driving accidents for over 39 years. Our experienced Atlanta car accident attorneys are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Auto Accidents

Please Note:
All information provided by our blogs is general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Consult a Montlick attorney for details about your unique situation.