Strengthening injury prevention and control is a strategic initiative of the Arkansas Department of Health. Our injury prevention efforts include promotion of policy changes, education, and support of communities as they engage in injury prevention activities. The field of injury prevention in Arkansas took great strides forward in 2009 when the legislature enacted the Primary Seatbelt Law, Graduated Drivers License Law, and Trauma System Act.
Since the passage of the Primary Seatbelt Law, seatbelt usage in Arkansas has increased by eight percent over a two-year period. Although the law is credited with significantly increasing seatbelt use throughout the state, seatbelt usage in Arkansas is still seven percent lower than the nation average. The Graduated Drivers License (GDL) was expanded in 2009 to allow teens to gain driving experience through the use of restrictions for optimal risk reduction. GDL limits age, nighttime driving, passengers, and cell phone use for teens. According to the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement (ACHI), there was a significant difference in the annual number of crashes for teen drivers between 2008 and 2010. Fatalities involving teen drivers were reduced by 59%, translating to an estimated 32 lives that were saved between 2008 and 2010.
The Trauma System Act was established to provide coordination between emergency responders and hospitals to help critically injured patients get to the right hospital in the shortest amount of time possible to receive the most appropriate care for each patient’s particular injuries. The Trauma System Act included funding and additional personnel for injury prevention efforts coordinated by the Arkansas Department of Health through the Office of Injury Prevention and Control.
The ADH Injury Prevention Section collaborates with stakeholders to ensure that evidence-based prevention programs are in place. One example is through establishment of the Statewide Injury Prevention Program (SIPP), a partnership with the Injury Prevention Center at Arkansas Children’s Hospital, where subject matter experts provide technical assistance across the state. Another is the enhancement of ADH’s Hometown Health Initiative resources so that there are grassroots and community-level interventions being conducted. Finally, creation of the Injury Community Planning Group (ICPG) brings state-level leadership in all aspects of injury prevention to the table to ensure coordination of efforts, plan core activities, and evaluate programs. The mission of ICPG is to reduce injury in Arkansas through support of collaborative injury prevention efforts. A recent success of the above collaborative efforts involved ADH’s distribution of approximately 4,800 child passenger safety seats throughout the state and their installation by certified technicians. In addition, participation in national organizations, such as the Safe States Alliance, gives the Section increased visibility and a way to increase its knowledge base and overall effectiveness.
State-by-State Injury Comparison Report Issued
Arkansas State Injury and Violence Prevention Plan for 2013-2018
The Safe States Alliance has released its State of the States report surveying the core components of state injury-prevention efforts, including infrastructure, surveillance, programs, training and public policy. The report, which compares the states’ readiness to surveys in prior years, is available here
|Injury Prevention||4815 W. Markham Street, Slot 4|
Little Rock, AR 72204