Personal freedom leads to increase in fatal injuries: study

States that have less restrictive laws regarding public safety have a higher rate of death due to injuries, according to a joint study from researchers at the University of Massachusetts Lowell and the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston.

To find the correlation, researchers analyzed injury data and the strictness of state laws governing behaviors such as use of safety belts, fireworks and cell phones while driving, according to a UMass Lowell press release. For example, New York had the third-strictest laws and an unintended injury mortality rate of 25.9 per 100,000 people; New Mexico had the third most lax laws and a rate of 67.1, according to the release.

The study was published in the Feb. 18 online edition of the American Journal of Public Health.

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