ARE YOU REALLY A SAFE DRIVER?
Did you know?
1. That Cinco de Mayo has the ninth highest rate (43%) for fatal traffic accidents in the U.S.
2. The 4th of July slipped to second place for the number of automobile fatalities for a specific holiday.
3. The new number one most dangerous U.S. holiday to be on the road is now Thanksgiving for the highest number of fatal accidents.
Safe driving does not only apply to your safety on the job, it also applies to the personal safety of members of your family and pets. Statistically, you are more likely to be seriously injured or suffer a fatal injury from an automobile accident and the more time you spend on the road, the greater the numbers are stacked against you. Here are some tips on increasing the odds of you reach your destination safely.
Wear your seat belt and shoulder harness. That is the number one protection you have of surviving a major accident and keep the possibility of a fatal injury at a minimum. All of the lame reasons not to wear a seat belt will not protect you in an accident. In many states if you are involved in even a minor accident one of the first questions the police officer will ask “Were you wearing you seat belt?” If you say no, you may be ticketed and the insurance carrier may refuse to pay for any injuries incurred for failure to comply with the seat belt law of the state.
You best of chance of survival of a roll over or other type of accident is to stay inside thevehicle. If you are ejected you have less then a 1% chance of surviving. Air bags area secondary protection, seat belts and shoulder harnesses are the primary.
- Don’t drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs (both illegal and prescription). In the State of Arizona many prescription and over the counter medications can result in a DUI charge.
- Make sure all safety devices on the vehicle are working properly and that the tires are properly inflated and brakes are working properly.
- Make sure all packages, children and/or pets are secured inside the vehicle. In a collision, any items inside the vehicle can become lethal objects flying around. Children and pets can be ejected through windows, the driver and front passengers can sustain serious or fatal injuries to the head or neck area.
- Dress to survive not to arrive. In Arizona you may leave Tucson or Phoenix for Thanksgiving in Flagstaff or the Grand Canyon. Check the weather, road conditions and dress to survive in the event you may get temporarily stranded due to weather or road conditions.
- Don’t drive while tired, sleepy or fatigued. A person who has been awake for 17 hours has the same reaction time and thought processes as a person who is legally DUI.
- Don’t text message, talk on a cell phone or eat while driving. Statistically, you are four times more likely to be involved in a fatal accident while performing one of these tasks. Operating a motor vehicle takes your undivided attention.
- Do not operate a vehicle with a pet or child in your front lap as we have all seen at one time or another. You can not respond to an emergency situation properly and if you are involved in an accident and the air bags deploy everyone losses. Need I say more on this topic?
- For those of you who operate motor cycles, you are seventeen times more likely to be involved in a fatal accident the when operating a motor vehicle, primarily due to the fact you are on two wheels and have no protection from traumatic injury.
Today’s vehicles are so much safer then the vehicles I rode in as a child in the 1950’s and started operating in the early 1960’s. I urge all drivers to make use of all the safety devices and energy absorbing sections of the modern vehicle. However, you do have to remember, the manufacturer can design a perfectly safe vehicle to increase the probability that you will walk away from a possibly fatal accident. You, the driver are the final part of the equation to ensure that you take all possible measures to reduce the possibility you will have to use those safety devices.
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