Every year the National Safety Council (NSC) designates June as National Safety Month, a program designed to raise awareness for practicing safety at work, at home, and on the road. With the summer season here, it means a higher volume of traffic on the roads –due to people traveling for vacations, and younger people driving to and from their summer jobs. According to the NSC, motor vehicle crashes are the 9th leading cause of death globally, and distracted driving is estimated to be a factor in 25% to 50% of all traffic crashes. Many of these accidents may have been avoided by following these recommended tips to ensure that you get to your destination safely. These tips can help you stay safer on the road:
- Do not drink alcoholic beverages and drive, EVER!
- Follow the speed limit.
- Don’t use your cell phone while driving. That text message can wait. Also, texting while driving is illegal in most states.
- Make sure your car is in roadworthy condition—this can help you avoid accidents and/or tickets.
- Make sure all mirrors and controls are set prior to beginning your trip.
- Wear your seatbelt; it can save your life.
- Maintain a safe following distance. Leave two car lengths in between your car and the car in front of you.
Seat belts save lives.
The law requires that all vehicle occupants wear an appropriate seat belt. According to the NSC, wearing seat belts reduces the risk of death in motor vehicle crashes by up to 45%. Seat belts prevent 99% of passengers from being ejected in a crash.
Are you too drowsy to drive?
Did you know that drowsiness can impair judgment, performance, and reaction times the same way alcohol and drugs can? The National Sleep Foundation’s poll on the effects of sleep deprivation while driving showed that 37% of Americans admitted to falling asleep at the wheel this past year.
Here are some signs that you might be too tired to drive:
- Having trouble staying focused, keeping your eyes open, and/or keeping your head up.
- Yawning and/or repeatedly rubbing your eyes.
- Drifting from your lane, missing signs or exits, and/or tailgating.
- Relying on turning up the radio or rolling down the windows to keep yourself alert.
- Having a slower reaction time to things happening on the road.
For more information concerning road safety, visit these websites:
The National Safety Council –http://www.nsc.org/pages/home.aspx
The National Sleep Foundation – http://www.sleepfoundation.org/article/sleep-topics/drowsy-driving