The start of Daylight Saving Time is right around the corner, which means it’s a good time to take care of a few safety essentials around the house. Set your clocks ahead, check smoke detectors, and check your VIN for recalls at NHTSA.gov/recalls.
Daylight saving time will begin Sunday, March 8, 2020.
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is once again teaming up with law enforcement across the United States during the 2019 Holiday Season to increase enforcement targeting the traffic safety issue of impaired driving. The enforcement campaigns, Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over and If You Feel Different, You Drive Different. Drive High, Get a DUI, run from December 13, 2019, through January 1, 2020 to coincide with the 2019 holiday season. The Holiday Season is one of the deadliest times of the year in terms of impaired-driving fatalities.
NHTSA reminds us, “It doesn’t matter what term you use: If a person is feeling a little high, buzzed, stoned, wasted, or drunk, he or she is impaired and should never get behind the wheel.”
July 4th is a celebration of American independence and freedom. Don’t jeopardize your freedom by drinking and driving. Law enforcement across the US are taking part in the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign during the 4th of July holiday period, June 29 through July 5, 2019, to put an end to drunk driving.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that over the 4th of July holiday period in 2017 (6 p.m. June 30 to 5:59 a.m. July 5), 601 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes. 39% (237) of those fatalities occurred in alcohol-impaired crashes. This is a 23% increase from 2016, during which 192 people were killed during the same holiday period. NHTSA urges drivers to designate a sober driver before heading out for the evening. If you plan on drinking, plan on not driving.
St. Patrick’s Day 2018
St. Patrick’s Day for many means drinking lots of green beer. In fact, March 17th is ranked the 4th most popular drinking day behind New Year’s Eve, Christmas, and the 4th of July, according to WalletHub. So, while you are preparing for a fun night out, take a look at these sobering statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and as always, please remember that drinking and driving don’t mix.
- St. Patrick’s Day is one of the deadliest holidays on our nation’s roads. During the 2012-2016 St. Patrick’s Day holiday period (6 p.m. March 16 to 5:59 a.m. March 18), 269 lives were lost due in drunk-driving crashes.
- In 2016 alone, 60 people (39% of all crash fatalities) were killed in drunk-driving crashes over the St. Patrick’s Day holiday period.
- Between midnight and 5:59 a.m. March 18, 2016, almost three-fourths (69%) of crash fatalities involved a drunk driver.
- Walking home from the bar after a night out partying? That can also be dangerous. In 2016, 36% of the pedestrians killed in crashes had blood alcohol concentrations (BAC) of .08 or higher.
Please make arrangements in advance to get home safely. Have a designated driver in your group, plan to use public transportation, or utilize Uber or Lyft. Bottom line, be sure you have a sober ride lined up before you take your first sip.
No time to read a long-winded BLOnG? Welcome to the Three-Second-Stop mini-Blog.
Today’s Three Seconds: Halloween Safety
According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, “October 31st is one of the most dangerous nights of the year because of the deadly combination of alcohol and increased pedestrian traffic.” When you are out driving this Halloween be extra vigilant; slow down and stay alert, especially in areas pedestrians are likely to be. Things to look out for:
- Small children that may dart into the street
- Pedestrians in dark clothing
- Party-goers walking while intoxicated
- Stopped vehicles that may be unloading passengers
According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in 2014 a pedestrian was killed every 2 hours and injured every 8 minutes on average in U.S. traffic crashes.
While the number of total traffic fatalities has decreased over the last 10 years, the percentage of pedestrian traffic fatalities has increased. In 2005, Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) reported 43,510 total traffic fatalities, 11% (4,892) of which were pedestrian fatalities. In 2014, FARS reported 32,675 total traffic fatalities, 15% (4,884) of which were pedestrian deaths.
The rise in percentage of pedestrian deaths may be partly due to improvements to vehicle occupant protection and safety features. While safer vehicles improve a passenger’s survival rate in a crash, a pedestrian still has no defense if struck by a vehicle.
Another pedestrian safety concern: distracted walking. A Pew Research Center survey found that 53% of adult cellphone owners either had bumped into a person/object while using their phone or had been bumped into by another person distracted by their cellphone. Distracted walking on or near a roadway can spell disaster.
Important Safety Reminders for Pedestrians:
- Walk on a sidewalk or path when one is available.
- If no sidewalk or path is available, walk on the shoulder, facing traffic. Stay alert; don’t be distracted by electronic devices, including smart phones, MP3 players, and other devices that take your eyes (and ears) off the road.
- Be cautious night and day when sharing the road with vehicles. Never assume a driver sees you (he or she could be distracted, under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, or just not see you). Make eye contact with drivers as they approach.
- Be predictable. Cross streets at crosswalks or intersections when possible. This is where drivers expect pedestrians.
- If a crosswalk or intersection is not available, locate a well-lit area, wait for a gap in traffic that allows you enough time to cross safely, and continue to watch for traffic as you cross.
- Be visible. Wear bright clothing during the day, and wear reflective materials or use a flash light at night.
- Avoid alcohol and drugs when walking; they impair your judgment and coordination.
Source: NHTSA’s Safety Countermeasures Division
Child Passenger Restraints
January 1st, 2017 ushers in new laws and regulations. In California one new law affecting motorist and parents will require child passengers under the age of two to be secured in rear-facing child safety seats.
Transporting children in age- and size-appropriate car seats, booster seats, or seat belts is key to keeping kids safe on the road. According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), child safety seats lower the risk of fatal injury for infants (under 1 year old) by 71% and by 54% for toddlers (1 to 4 years old) in passenger cars.
NHTSA recommends using a Rear-Facing Car Seat for as long as possible: age 0 to 3 years or once your child outgrows the rear-facing car seat. Rear-facing seats are the safest way to transport a child as in a crash the impact force is more evenly distributed along the outer shell of the seat, keeping the child’s neck and spine in line.
Be sure to read the instruction manual for your child safety seat as well as your vehicle owner’s manual on car seat installation. Check height and weight limits of the car seat and never place a rear-facing car seat in the front seat or in front of an active airbag.
2016 Teen Driver Safety Campaign
Speak with your teen about making good driving decisions.
For those of you that have young drivers at home, National Teen Driver Safety Week (Oct. 16 – 22) is a good reminder to sit down with your teen and go over the “5 to Drive” risky driving behaviors to avoid.
- NO CELL PHONES: Dialing a phone while driving increases your teen’s risk of crashing by six times, and texting while driving increases the risk by 23 times.
- NO EXTRA PASSENGERS: Research shows that the risk of a fatal crash goes up in direct relation to the number of teenagers in the car.
- NO SPEEDING: In 2014, speeding was a factor for 30% of the teen drivers involved in fatal crashes.
- NO ALCOHOL: 20% of 15- to 19-year-old drivers involved in fatal crashes in 2014 had been drinking.
- ALWAYS BUCKLE-UP: In 2014, 53% of teens 15-19 years old killed in passenger vehicle crashes were not wearing a seat belt.
Source: NHTSA and safercar.gov
How Do You Rate?
Seat belt use in the United States has been steadily rising since 2000. There has also been a consistent decrease in unrestrained passenger vehicle occupant fatalities in the daytime.
The overall National average seat-belt use in 2015 was 88.5%. The Western States have the highest average with 95.0% and the Midwest has a ways to go coming in at 81.7%.
As you can image, States that have Primary Seat Belt laws (an officer can ticket you for the sole reason you are not wearing a seat-belt) have a higher rate of seat belt use as compared to States that have secondary enforcement laws (requires an officer to pull you over for another reason before you can receive a citation for not using your seat belt.)
Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Report No. DOT HS 812 243
Remember Your Seat Belt
Monday, May 18, 2015 designates the beginning of a two week National Seat Belt Enforcement Mobilization. Law enforcement officers will be looking for motorist not wearing their seat belts in the annual Click It or Ticket campaign. Always wearing your seat belt is not only a good idea, but is required by law. This year the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is putting the spotlight on night driving as a large percentage of fatalities occur between 6 p.m. – 5:59 a.m. that involve failure to buckle in.
So always, always, always wear your seat belt. It doesn’t matter…
- What type of vehicle: Whether it’s a compact car or a pickup truck, put on your seat belt!
- Where you are sitting: Front seat or back seat, always buckle up!
- Where you are driving: In the city or the country, safety belts are a must!
To learn more, visit www.nhtsa.gov/ciot.