State By State Advocacy

NVDRS is modeled after the Department of Transportation's Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS). Since 1975, FARS has been recording information on fatal motor vehicle crashes, which claim 40,000 lives annually in the United States. The data captured by this system has been critical to the research and prevention of motor vehicle-related deaths.

Among its other data, FARS tracks crash information on the lives saved by child restraints, seat belts; motorcycle helmet use and airbags (since 1987), and it has found that:

  • In 1975, 36 children were saved by child restraints, 978 lives were saved by seat belts and motorcycle helmets prevented 823 deaths.

  • By 2010, these numbers had grown dramatically. More than 303 children were saved by child restraints, seatbelt use saved 12,546 lives and motorcycle helmets prevented 1,550 deaths. In addition, air bags are credited with saving 2,306 American lives.

Similarly, NVDRS helps us measure which prevention programs and policies are effective in preventing homicide and suicide.