Changes for a Safer Life!

Changes for a Safer Life! 

Seven Decades of Public Health Initiatives- 

In the last 75 years, the life expectancy of Americans has jumped dramatically.Out ability to enjoy longer, healthier lives has much to do with advances in public health and safety.

Buckling Up!

Although it is estimated that seat belts reduce the risk for death from car accidents by nearly 50%, they were not required in new vehicles until 1974. In 1985, Michigan enacted its first seat belt law which skyrocketed seat belt use in the state from 20% to 58%! By 2009, Michigan was the first state to achieve 97.9% seat belt use – the nation’s highest!

Kicking the Habit!

Smoking used to be the norm – in homes, offices, airports, restaurants and elevators. However in 1964, the Surgeon General issued a report on the health risks of smoking. Our nation gradually began to kick the habit with the help of education campaigns and restrictions on public smoking. Today, only about 18% of people still smoke, down from approximate 50% in 1964!

Protecting Workers!

In the early 20th Century, severe injuries and death related to manufacturing,  mining, construction and transportation were very common. New protection put in place in the 1970’s changed that. Congress passed the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), setting safety standards for workers. Since 1980, the rate of fatal occupational injuries in the U.S. has dropped by about 40%.

Preventing the Dangers!

In 1942, a fire in a Boston nightclub claimed the lives of almost 500 people and changed fire laws in our country. Since then, codes regarding exit signs, egress doors, flammable materials and more have greatly improved fire safety.