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AMERICAN INDIANS BUCKLING UP TO CUT CRASH INJURIES, DEATHS

American Indians and Eskimos are three times more likely to die in car crashes than other Americans because of their limited access to emergency care and risky driving habits, federal health officials said.

But a seat-belt campaign by the Navajos, one of the largest Indian tribes, is helping reduce auto-related injuries and deaths, the Centers for Disease Control said Thursday.The agency reported that 57.5 per 100,000 Indians and Eskimos are killed in auto accidents. By contrast, the death rate from auto accidents for other Americans is 19.5 per 100,000.

Because they often live in rural areas, Indians and Eskimos don't always receive immediate emergency care after an auto accident, the CDC said.

Also, the two groups tend to practice risky driving habits, such as letting passengers ride in the back of pickup trucks, driving while drunk and failing to wear seat belts, the CDC said.