Are you a safe driver? Though no one thinks about losing a loved one in a car crash, vehicle crashes are the number one cause of death for children and young adults ages 5 to 24. According to the Centers for Disease Control, they are also the number two cause of death for adults 25 and older and for toddlers.
The National Safety Council makes recommendations every year for safe driving. Are you driving safe? Here are five ways to make our roads safer.
Don't Drive While Impaired
Driving under the influence is always a bad idea. Whether it is alcohol, prescription medication, or over-the counter or illegal drugs, driving under the influence greatly increases the chance of injury or death for you and others on the road. Another thing to mention is that impaired drivers can face prosecution and serious legal fines.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that about one-third of all fatal crashes involved alcohol. More than 10,000 people lost their lives, due to alcohol. Almost 4,000 drivers were killed under the influence of drugs other than alcohol.Seat Belts Save Lives
Seat belts save over 13,000 lives every year. Fortunately, more than 90 percent of Americans wear seat belts. More than half of vehicle occupants killed in 2012 were not wearing one(Injury Facts 2014).
Air bags also help reduce injury in crashes, but only when used with seat belts. In addition, due to the force of air bags in a crash, children should ride in the back seat of a vehicle until they are at least 13 years old.
Secure Children Safely
The best way to protect children in the car is to put them in the right seat at the right time, and use it the right way. Restraint use among young children often depends on the driver's seat belt use.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, speeding was a factor in almost a third of fatal crashes in 2012. It is important to drive slow on highways and local roads; the percentage of crash deaths involving speeding is higher on minor roads, such as neighborhood streets.
Be Aware of Kids
Children under age 4 are especially vulnerable to getting run over in a driveway. Mirrors and rear-view cameras won’t always show children near the car. Before backing up or pulling forward, drivers should always walk completely around a vehicle to be sure small children are not present.
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