June is National Safety Month and the focus this year, among other things, is on learning more about transportation safety.
Car crashes are still the leading cause of unintentional death in US but we can change that if we take steps to ensure safety.
To begin, don’t be an aggressive driver! More than half of all traffic fatalities are the result of aggressive driving. Bring your patience along on every trip! For signs of aggressive driving go here .
Don’t use your cell phone while you’re driving. Doing other activities while driving – like texting or eating – distracts you and increases your chance of crashing. Almost 1 in 5 crashes (17%) that injured someone involved distracted driving.
Get enough rest and do not drive until you know how certain medications might affect you. Drowsy driving leads to more than 1500 people being killed each year.
If your teen just started driving take them to practice driving once a week, limit night time driving, and limit the number of passengers in their car. A great resource for parents of teen drivers can be found here.
Other transportation safety tips to consider:
Car Seat Safety – Here is a checklist of things to consider when installing a car seat.
Never leave your children or your pets in a hot car – The temperature inside a car can get close to the temperature of a hot oven. Even if you are just running into a store for a few minutes, take your child or pet with you! A list of tips on how to avoid that can be found here.
Brakes Safety – Carcare.org is advising us to look for the following signs that might indicate something is wrong with the brakes:
Noise: screeching, grinding or clicking noises when applying the brakes.
Pulling: vehicle pulls to one side while braking.
Low Pedal: brake pedal nearly touches the floor before engaging.
Hard Pedal: must apply extreme pressure to the pedal before brakes engage.
Grabbing: brakes grab at the slightest touch to the pedal.
Vibration: brake pedal vibrates or pulses, even under normal braking conditions.
Light: brake light is illuminated on your vehicle’s dashboard.
With more and more people switching to bikes for their transportation needs, it is important to keep in mind the following bike safety tips:
- Be predictable and signal your intentions to others:
- When you turn left, extend your left arm to your side
- When you turn right, hold your arm up an “L” shape or extend your right arm
- If you want to stop or slow down, hold your arm down in a “L” shape
- Go with the flow of traffic not against it
- Be ready to stop at driveways
- Make yourself visible, wear something reflective, have a white light in the front of you bike and a red light on the back, mirrors, and bell
- Wear a helmet
Enjoy your summer and be safe!
Other sources: healthfinder.gov, http://www.nhtsa.gov/Bicycles