New York Injury Law Blog

New York Identified as Top State for Taking Appropriate Measures to Prevent Injuries to Residents

New York State has been applauded by many safety and health advocates for enacting laws and regulations that put the safety of residents first.  For example, just last month Governor Cuomo proposed legislation to establish the first state agency to investigate and oversee state operated special needs and disabilities residential facilities due to allegations of abuse.  Now, in a study where researchers set out to determine which U.S. states are the safest, New York tied for the top slot with California. 

The study, entitled “The Facts Hurt: A State-By-State Injury Prevention Policy Report,” conducted by the Trust for America’s Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), ranked all the U.S. states and the District of Columbia according to safety based on the number of injury deaths from either accidents or violence.  The report looked at each state, ranking them on a 10 to 0 scale, with states receiving one point for each of 10 policies that could improve safety. 

New York and California both scored nine out of the possible 10 points, and had the best overall ratings. Montana and Ohio scored just two out of 10 points, the lowest of all states.  

In addition, the researchers studied three years of data (2007-2009) from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to find the number of injuries per 100,000 residents per state.  New York had the second lowest number of injury-related deaths at 37.1, as compared to the national average of about 58 deaths per 100,000 people.  New Jersey was the only other state with fewer deaths at 36.1. New Mexico had the most at 97.8.  The study pointed out that every year, injuries generate nearly $406 billion in lifetime costs for medical care and lost productivity.  The total lifetime medical costs due to fatal injury in New York were estimated to be $76.4 million. 

“Injuries are the third leading cause of death nationally, and they are the leading cause of death for Americans between the ages of one and 44,”according to the report.  In addition, nearly 50 million Americans receive medical treatment for injuries each year, and close to 3 million are hospitalized.  12,000 children and teens die from injuries each year and 9.2 million are treated in emergency rooms, according to the study.

The 10 indicators used to determine the rankings were as follows:

  • Does the state have a primary seat belt law?
  • Does the state require mandatory ignition interlocks for all convicted drunk drivers, even first time offenders?
  • Does the state have a universal helmet law requiring helmets for all motorcycle riders?
  • Does the state require car seats or booster seats for children to at least the age of eight?
  • Does the state require bicycle helmets for all children?
  • Does the state allow for people in dating relationships to get protection orders?
  • Did the state receive an “A” grade in the teen dating violence laws analysis conducted by the Break the Cycle Organization?
  • Does the state have a strong youth sports concussion safety law?
  • Did the state enact a prescription drug monitoring program?
  • Did more than 90 percent of injury discharges from hospitals receive external cause-of-injury coding in the state, which help researchers and health officials track industry trends and evaluate prevention programs?

The only indicator where New York did not get a point was in receiving an “A” grade in the teen dating violence law. According to the 2010 “Break the Cycle Report,” in New York, minors can obtain Orders of Protection, but the law does not specify whether they can be granted against minor abusers. New York also allows people in dating relationships to seek orders against their abusers. The state received a grade of “B” in the report.

Our Binghamton personal injury attorneys are pleased to see that New York legislation has taken effective, appropriate actions to keep our residents safe.  We applaud the companies for exploring this area and for outlining effective safety measures.

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Scott C. Gottlieb, Injury Law Attorney, is a Binghamton accident and injury law firm that handles all types of personal injury and motor vehicle accident cases, including cases involving drunk-driving accidents, wrongful death, cancer misdiagnosis, dog bites, hunting accidents, birth injuries, brain injuries, construction accidents, fall-down injuries and insurance settlements. The firm regularly employs accident reconstruction experts, investigators, photographers and economists to assist in evaluating and preparing personal injury cases.

For more information, call (800) TALK-LAW or use the firm’s online contact form.

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