Category Archives: traffic safety

This Fourth of July, There’s No Excuse—

Bryan Ohio – Every year Americans head out on our nation’s highways to celebrate the Fourth of July at picnics, parties, parades and more. Unfortunately, for many, the celebrating includes drinking alcohol, which too often leads to drunk driving on one of the most heavily traveled holidays of the year.

There were 397 people killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2014 over the Fourth of July holiday (6 p.m. July 3rd to 5:59 a.m. July 7th). Of those fatalities, 164 people (41%) were killed in crashes involving a driver or motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 grams per deciliter (g/dL) or higher.

In 2014, 9,967 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes nationwide—almost a third of all crash fatalities.

And from 2010-2014, 39 percent of all traffic fatalities over the Fourth of July period occurred in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes.

In every state and the District of Columbia, it is illegal to drive with a BAC of .08 or higher. Yet, among the 164 people killed in drunk-driving crashes over the 2014 July Fourth period, 113 people died in crashes involving at least one driver or motorcycle operator with a BAC of .15 or higher—almost twice the set limit.

NHTSA data shows that young drivers (18 to 34 years old) are especially at risk of driving drunk. In fact, 58 percent of the drivers 18 to 34 years old who were killed over the July Fourth period in 2014 were driving drunk (BAC of .08 or higher). Motorcycle operators are also overrepresented as the highest percentage of alcohol-impaired drivers in fatal crashes. In 2014, more than a quarter (29%) of motorcycle operators in fatal crashes had BACs of .08 or higher.

Drunk drivers are also more common at night. Over the July Fourth holiday in 2014, more than two-fifths (42%) of the drivers in nighttime (6 p.m. to 5:59 a.m.) fatal crashes were alcohol-impaired, compared to 12 percent of drivers in fatal crashes during the day.

If you’re caught driving drunk this Independence Day, you will be arrested. The consequences of drunk driving are that serious. Not only could you put your life and the lives of others at risk, but a DUI arrest means a loss of freedom and money, including going to jail, losing your license, and paying steep financial expenses. The average DUI cost? About $10,000.

“This Fourth of July, don’t risk losing your life or your independence by drinking and driving. Help make everyone’s holiday in Bryan Ohio safer by driving sober, said Officer Matt Arnold “Remember,” Officer Arnold warned, there’s no excuse—Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.”

Officer Matt Arnold recommends these safe alternatives to drinking and driving.

Plan a safe way home before the fun begins.
Designate a sober driver or use public transportation to get home safely.
Download NHTSA’s SaferRide mobile app at http://www.nhtsa.gov/link/saferride/.
If you see a drunk driver on the road, don’t hesitate to contact law enforcement
If you know people who are about to drive or ride after drinking, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.

For more information about the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign, visit www.TrafficSafetyMarketing.gov.

 

 

 

 

Click It or Ticket

From May 23 to June 5, 2016, local law enforcement personnel will participate in the national Click It or Ticket campaign in an effort to save lives through increased seat belt use. This enforcement period comes ahead of the Memorial Day holiday, one of the busiest travel weekends of the year.

According to research conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, while 88.5 percent of passenger vehicle occupants buckled up in 2015, almost 50 percent of occupants of fatal crashes nationwide are not restrained. In some states, the rate is as high as 70 percent unrestrained in fatal crashes. This fact gravely highlights the need for increased enforcement and awareness of seat belt use.

This year, NHTSA is aiming to increase campaign participation even more by coordinating a “Coast to Coast” seat belt enforcement effort, to include all law enforcement around specific interstate corridors, such as I-10, I-40, I-70, and I-80. This effort does not limit Click It or Ticket enforcement to these corridors, or prevent states from participating in the campaign; rather, these corridors will serve to link and highlight the “Coast to Coast” seat belt enforcement effort. All law enforcement agencies can join the effort to emphasize the “Coast to Coast” effort.

In 2014, nearly half of the 21,022 passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes were unrestrained, according to NHTSA. During the nighttime hours of 6 p.m. to 5:59 a.m., that number increased to 57 percent of those killed. Law enforcement agencies will write citations day and night, with a zero-tolerance approach.

“Hundreds of thousands of citizens will be traveling this Memorial Day weekend, as well as throughout the summer vacation season. We want to make sure that people are buckling up to keep themselves and their families safe. It is the greatest defense in a vehicle crash,” said Officer Arnold.

For more information on the Click It or Ticket campaign, please visit http://www.nhtsa.gov/ciot.

Distracted Driving

WreckItAllLogo With ever increasing demands on our personal and professional time in today’s busy society, learning to juggle multiple tasks at once is something we all face daily. As a result, a new traffic safety epidemic has emerged on America’s roadways that demand immediate attention: distracted driving.

In 2014, 3,179 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver. One of the most alarming and widespread forms of distracted driving is cell phone usage. According to a study by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI), sending or receiving a text takes a driver’s eyes off the road for an average of 5 seconds, the equivalent of driving blind at 55-mph for the length of an entire football field. And a 2014 special article in the New England Journal of Medicine found that the risk of a crash or near-crash among novice drivers increased with the performance of many secondary tasks, including texting and dialing cell phones.

Text messaging is of heightened concern because it combines three types of distraction – visual, manual and cognitive. In other words, texting involves taking your eyes off the road, your hands off the wheel, and your mind off the task of driving.

To tackle this ever-increasing problem, NHTSA is focusing on ways to change the behavior of drivers through legislation, enforcement, public awareness and education—the same tactics that have curbed drinking and driving and increased seat belt use.

NHTSA’s message is simple – “One Text or Call Could Wreck it All.” With supporters ranging from President Obama to Adam Levine and legislation being passed across the nation to discourage distracted driving, we hope drivers get the message loud and clear.

So the next time you are pressed for time, and it seems like multitasking in the car is the best decision, remember those 3,179 lives that were taken because someone decided they could do two things at once. A text or call is not worth your life, or anyone else’s.

 

 

 

KNOW YOUR ROLE ON SUPER BOWL 50

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Are You Drinking?

If so, don’t drive. Follow these tips to have fun, stay alive, and avoid getting pulled over or crashing your vehicle on game day.

  • Before Super Bowl Sunday, make a game plan that includes a sober driver – someone who will not be drinking at all.
  • Use NHTSA’s new SaferRide mobile app. The app helps people who have been drinking get a safe ride home by helping users call a taxi or a friend and by identifying their location so they can be picked up. The app is available for Android devices on Google Play, and Apple devices on the iTunes store.
  • Leave your keys at home and designate a sober driver.
  • Consider getting a sober ride – ride share or taxi – to your destination, so you won’t even have the option later to drive impaired.
  • Avoid drinking too much alcohol too fast. Pace yourself. Eat plenty of food, take breaks, and alternate with non-alcoholic drinks.
  • Stop drinking after the third quarter, just like they do at the actual stadium.
  • Make sure your designated driver is sober, not just less intoxicated than you.
  • Tweet your designated driver’s name to NHTSA to make their Wall of Fame.
  • Don’t let others drive drunk. Arrange a safe way for them to get home, too.
  • If you don’t have a designated driver, ask a sober friend for a ride home; book a ride share, call a cab, friend, or family member to come get you; or if possible stay where you are for the night and don’t drive until you are sober.
  • When you ride home with your sober driver, wear your seat belt. It’s your best defense in a crash.
  • Walking impaired can be dangerous. Designate a sober friend to walk you home.

Or Are You Driving?

If so, don’t drink. Your responsible choices can save lives.

  • Take your role seriously as the designated sober driver—don’t drink and drive.
  • Enjoy the party with food and non-alcoholic drinks.
  • Brag about your MVP status on social media using the hashtag #designateddriver.
  • Or during Super Bowl 50, tweet your name to NHTSA, and make their designated driver Wall of Fame.
  • Wear your seat belt and require your passengers to do the same.
  • If someone you know has been drinking and tries to drive, take their keys and help them get home safely. They’ll thank you later. Fans Don’t Let Fans Drive Drunk.

Are You Hosting a Super Bowl Party?

If so, you’re the team captain! Designate a responsible driver now to help your guests get home safely.

  • Ask all of your guests to designate their sober drivers in advance, or help them arrange ride-sharing with sober drivers. If you don’t drink, offer to drive guests home.
  • Encourage your drinking guests to pace themselves.
  • Serve plenty of food and non-alcoholic beverages at the party.
  • Stop serving alcohol at the end of the third quarter—this is a good time to serve coffee and dessert.
  • Thank the designated sober drivers at your party. You could even acknowledge them on social media using the hashtag #designateddriver.
  • Provide incentive—designated driver Wall of Fame.
  • Sign up online for a ride sharing service and keep the phone numbers of local cab companies on hand and take the keys away from any guests who are thinking of driving after drinking.
  • Remember, if you serve a guest alcohol and he or she gets in a crash that night, you could be held liable.
  • If an underage person drinks and drives, the parent or guardian can be legally liable for any damage, injury or death caused by the underage driver.
  • Likewise, parents or other adults who provide alcohol to – or host a party where alcohol is available to – those under age 21, could face jail time.

 

Are You Aware of the Risks? 

Drunk driving is a serious problem with serious consequences. Don’t become a Super Bowl stat.

  • In 2014 alone, 9,967 people were killed in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes, 31 percent of all crash fatalities.
  • An average of 1 alcohol-impaired-driving fatality occurred every 53 minutes in 2014.
  • Drunk drivers face jail time, the loss of their driver licenses, higher insurance rates, and dozens of other unanticipated expenses ranging from attorney fees, court costs, car towing and repairs, and lost wages due to time off from work.
  • The average DUI case costs approximately $10,000.
  • Refusing to take a breath test in many jurisdictions results in immediate arrest, the loss of your driver’s license on the spot and the impoundment of your vehicle. Also, there’s the added embarrassment, humiliation, and consequences of telling family, friends and employers of your arrest.
  • If you injure or kill someone in a drunk-driving crash, it’s something you’ll have to live with for the rest of your life.

April Is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Enforcement, awareness effort aims to save thousands killed in distraction-related crashes

WASHINGTON – U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx today kicked off Distracted Driving Awareness month, which began April 1, by announcing the “U Drive. U Text. U Pay.” National Distracted Driving Enforcement Campaign. From April 10-15, state and local law enforcement will aggressively ticket drivers who are texting or using their mobile devices when behind the wheel. The Secretary made the announcement in Washington, D.C., where young drivers demonstrated the dangers of distracted driving on a temporary test track. Secretary Foxx was joined by Mark Rosekind, Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

“Distracted driving kills, there is no excuse for it, and it must stop,” said Secretary Foxx. “Across the country, we’re putting distracted drivers on notice: U Drive. U Text. U Pay. Texting and driving will at least cost you the price of a ticket but it could very well cost you your life or someone else’s.”

Based on fatal accident reports, NHTSA data shows that at least 3,154 people were killed in crashes involving all distracted drivers in 2013, including those who were texting and driving. NHTSA estimates that 424,000 Americans were injured in all distraction-affected crashes in 2013.

Key statistical findings in NHTSA’s new Distracted Driving Traffic Safety Facts and Teen Distracted Driver fact sheet include:
◾Ten percent of fatal crashes, 18 percent of injury crashes, and 16 percent of all motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2013 were reported as distraction-affected crashes, which are defined as any crash in which a driver was identified as distracted at the time of the crash.
◾Ten percent of all drivers 15 to 19 years old involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crashes. This age group has the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted at the time of the crash.
◾244 Americans aged 15 to 19 were killed in distraction-affected crashes.
◾In 2013, there were 480 non-occupants killed in distraction-affected crashes.

“Young people need to understand the dangers of texting and driving before it kills them or someone they love,” said Administrator Rosekind. “It’s up to us as parents to set the right example by never texting and driving ourselves, and by laying down the law for our young drivers: no texting behind the wheel or no keys to the car. These are driving safety lessons that young drivers will carry with them throughout their lives.”

The awareness effort is supported by a $5 million national television, radio and digital advertising campaign, which runs from April 6-15, and reminds the public of the deadly consequences of distracted driving, and the financial penalties for violating state distracted driving laws. Ads will run in English and Spanish.

Forty-five states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands ban text messaging for drivers of all ages; 14 states and territories prohibit drivers of all ages from using hand-held cell phones while driving; and 38 states plus the District of Columbia ban cell phone use by novice drivers. Two states, Oklahoma and Texas, restrict school bus drivers from texting.

To prevent distracted driving, motorists are urged to:
◾Turn off electronic devices and put them out of reach before starting to drive.
◾Be good role models for young drivers and set a good example. Talk with your teens about responsible driving.
◾Speak up when you are a passenger and your driver uses an electronic device while driving. Offer to make the call for the driver, so his or her full attention stays on the driving task.
◾Always wear your seat belt. Seat belts are the best defense against other unsafe drivers.

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Operation Lifesaver notes increase in 2014 crossing and trespass fatalities

WASHINGTON, DC, March 11, 2015 – Vehicle-train collisions and deaths at highway-rail grade crossings and from pedestrians trespassing on railroad tracks rose across the U.S. in 2014, while crossing-related injuries and rail trespass injuries were lower compared to 2013, Joyce Rose, the President and CEO of Operation Lifesaver, Inc. (OLI) said today.

The national nonprofit rail safety education organization cited preliminary 2014 Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) statistics showing that U.S. crossing collisions rose 8.8 percent in 2014, to 2,280 from 2,096 in 2013; crossing fatalities increased 15.6 percent to 267 vs. 231 in 2013; and crossing injuries fell 14.4 percent to 832 from 972 in 2013. Fatalities caused by persons trespassing on railroad tracks and property surged 21.8 percent in 2014 to 526 (vs. 432 in 2013), while trespass injuries dropped 2.8 percent in 2014 to 419 (vs. 431 in 2013).

For 2014, the rail trespass casualty rate (deaths and injuries per million train-miles) is 1.23, its highest level in the last decade, and the highway-rail incident rate (incidents per million train-miles) is 2.98, the highest since 2008, Rose noted.

“Historically, highway-rail grade crossing collisions have dropped greatly in recent decades,” Rose pointed out. “While the number of people injured in crossing crashes and pedestrian-train incidents dropped in 2014, the statistics show that challenges remain in our mission to educate a busy, distracted public about the need for caution at train tracks,” said Rose.

States with the most crossing collisions in 2014 were Texas, Illinois, California, Indiana and Georgia. States with the most pedestrian-train casualties (deaths and injuries combined) in 2014 were California, Texas, Illinois, Pennsylvania and New York.

“These preliminary 2014 statistics demonstrate the continuing need to raise public awareness through our national ‘See Tracks? Think Train!’ campaign ,” Rose continued. “Operation Lifesaver, in partnership with major freight railroads, commuter and light rail systems, state and local law enforcement, and transportation agencies, will be expanding the campaign and developing new educational materials to encourage Americans to make safe decisions around tracks and trains,” she concluded.

About Operation Lifesaver

Operation Lifesaver’s mission is to end collisions, deaths and injuries at highway-rail grade crossings and along railroad rights of way. A national network of trained volunteers provides free presentations on rail safety. Learn more at http://www.oli.org ; follow OLI on Facebook , Twitter , Instagram and Pinterest .

Drowsy Driving – Who’s Most at Risk?

Anyone who drives is at risk of falling asleep at the wheel, but some groups of people are more at risk than others. They include:

• Young drivers – Combining inexperience with
sleepiness and a tendency to drive at night
puts young people at risk, especially males
aged 16-25 years.

• Shift workers and people working long
hours – People who work night shifts,
rotating shifts, double shifts or work more
than one job have a six-fold increase in drowsy
driving crashes.

• Commercial drivers – Those who drive a high
number of miles and drive at night are at
significantly higher risk for fall-asleep crashes.
Commercial drivers have also been found to
be at a high risk for sleep disorders.

• People with untreated sleep disorders
such as obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) –
People with untreated OSA are up to seven
times more likely to have a drowsy driving
crash. For some people insomnia can
increase fatigue.

• Business travelers – Frequent travelers who
may be suffering from jet lag and crossing time
zones, spending long hours behind the wheel
or getting too little sleep.
continued

Facts About Drowsy Driving
DDPW_banner_2http://www.DrowsyDriving.org