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Catherine A. Marco


Despite the 1968 U.S. law requiring that all vehicles have seat belts in every seat, many drivers and passengers choose not to use them. This is an important healthcare issue when the there is an estimated $917 billion spent annually on hospital services due to noncompliance with seat belt use.1 Previous literature has demonstrated that patients who are noncompliant with seatbelts are not only “more likely to use more hospital resources because they are more severely injured”, but also less likely to have health insurance, thus incurring more debt for the hospitals serving them1. Conversely, restraint compliance has been associated with “significantly lower mortality, shorter hospital stays, and decreased length of stay in the ICU as compared with those who are not restrained”.2 Therefore, we must look to patient demographic and clinical factors to understand why some do not use a seat belt.