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Safety on a Road

» Child Passenger Safety
  • Do restrain your child appropriately for his or her age, weight and height.
  • Do follow directions that come with the child safety seat, as well as the child passenger restraint directions in your vehicle’s owner’s manual.
  • Don’t put your child in the front seat. Children 12 and under should sit in the back seat appropriately restrained.
  • Don’t place a child in front of an active airbag because they are made to protect adults, not children. Children 12 and under should ride in the back seat, away from air bags.

Infants: Birth until at least 20 pounds AND at least 1 year old Use rear-facing infant seat or rear-facing convertible seat.
  • Route harness straps in lower slots, at or below shoulder level.
  • Fasten the top of the harness clip at armpit level.
  • Never place a rear-facing infant in the front seat with an active airbag.
  • Keep harness straps snug.
  • Install child passenger restraint at no greater than a 45-degree angle.

Toddlers: Over 20 pounds AND over 1 year old; Up to 40 pounds
(Once rear-facing infant seat or rear-facing convertible seat is outgrown)
  • Use forward-facing car seat.
  • Route harness straps in designated reinforced slots, at or above shoulder level.
  • Fasten harness clip at armpit level.
  • Keep harness straps snug.

Young Children: Over 40 pounds; Up to at least age 8, unless 4’9”
(Once forward-facing car seat is outgrown)
  • Belt positioning booster seat with a lap and shoulder seat belt.
  • Place shoulder strap over the shoulder and snug across the chest.
  • Place lap belt low and tight on hips, NOT over stomach.
  • Make sure shoulder strap is never across the neck, face or arm.

Older Children: Over age 8 or 4'9"
(Once belt-positioning booster seat is outgrown)
  • Use a lap and shoulder seat belt.
  • Shoulder belt fits over the shoulder and across the chest.
  • Lap belt should fit low and tight on hips, NOT over stomach.
  • Shoulder belt should NEVER be placed under arms or behind back.

Here there is a website we hope will answer some of your child Safety seat questions.

> National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

FACT: Motor vehicle crashes remain the leading cause of death for children between the ages of 2 to 14 years in the United States. In 2002, 227,000 children were injured and 1,543 children were killed in car crashes. (Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)

"As a Level One Pediatric Trauma Center, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia sees tragedies resulting from motor vehicle crashes too often, an average of 250 trauma admissions each year. The Partners for Child Passenger Safety (PCPS) study is a scientific and systematic approach to turning this epidemic around," says Steven M. Altschuler, M.D., President and CEO of The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

The research conducted by PCPS seeks to determine how and why children are being killed or injured in motor vehicle crashes. The data collected and analyzed by PCPS researchers has direct implications for automotive and restraint design, public policy and parent education.

PCPS is a research collaboration of the largest auto insurer, State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, and the nation's first children's hospital, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Since 1997, PCPS has created a database containing information on more than 223,000 crashes involving 336,000 children. It has become the largest source of data on children involved on motor vehicles crashes.

PCPS is the first academic-corporate partnership devoted to the safety of children in motor vehicles. The program's methodology is unique, combining in-depth telephone interviews, on-site crash investigations and computer crash simulations with interdisciplinary analysis and interpretation.

Findings from the study are published regularly in leading medical and engineering journals and presented at scientific conferences. The PCPS team conducts consistent outreach to the automotive and restraint community, policy makers and legislators, public health educators, and the media to improve safety for child occupants.

» Driver Behavior
Drinking and driving -- A deadly combination

Every 33 minutes, someone will die in an alcohol-related traffic accident. Although you probably think that it could never happen to you, experts say everyone has a 30-percent lifetime chance of being in a crash involving alcohol use.

According to Gallup surveys for Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), drunken driving is our No. 1 highway safety problem. Through education, increased law enforcement and stiffer penalties, the number of alcohol-related traffic accidents can be reduced.

What you can do to protect yourself and others The social drinker
If you drink, be responsible. When with a group, choose a designated driver. Having one person agree to drink only non-alcoholic beverages and provide transportation for other members of the group can save lives.

The good host
Here some things you can do as a host to ensure responsible drinking at a social function:
  • Provide plenty of non-alcoholic beverages.
  • Do not pressure guests to drink.
  • Serve food to slow the rate of absorption of alcohol.
  • Stop the flow of liquor at least one hour before the party is over.
If guests drink too much, call a cab or arrange a ride with a sober driver.

The encounter with the drunken driver
When you drive, you want to protect yourself and others you love. So, be alert and watch out for impaired drivers.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drivers under the influence of alcohol often display certain characteristics when on the road:
  • Making wide turns.
  • Weaving, swerving, drifting or straddling the center line.
  • Almost striking an object or vehicle.
  • Driving on the wrong side of the road.
  • Driving at a very slow speed.
  • Stopping without cause.
  • Braking erratically.
  • Responding slowly to traffic signals.
  • Turning abruptly or illegally.
  • Driving after dark with headlights off.
If you are in front of the drunken driver, turn right at the nearest intersection and let him or her pass. If the driver is in front of you, stay a safe distance behind. And if the driver is coming at you, slow down, move to the right and stop.

Stricter laws can help too
Because education and public awareness alone cannot stop drunken driving, stricter laws and enforcement are needed if there is to be significant progress in the ongoing battle against drunken driving.

Lowering the legal blood alcohol content (BAC) level from .10 to .08 percent in all states could go a long way toward reducing drunken driving. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, a person's driving ability is already impaired at a mere .02 BAC. A person with a BAC level in the .05-.09 range is nine times more likely to have a crash than a person at zero BAC. Only 28 states and the District of Columbia have this tough standard.

In the continuing fight against drunken driving, the message is clear. If you drink, don't drive. If you're serving alcohol at a party, think safety. After all, while drinking may be considered fun, it isn't fun if you or someone you know gets hurt or dies.

What does the public say about drunken driving?
In Gallup surveys for MADD, public attitudes toward drunken driving were measured.
  • The studies revealed that: Two in five people personally know someone killed or injured by a drunk driver.
  • Three in five people know someone who has been convicted of drunken driving.
  • People are less likely to drink and drive because they fear injuring or killing other people and themselves.
  • Fear of jail is another reason why people are less likely to drive while under the influence of alcohol.
  • Nearly two-thirds of those surveyed said they or their friends use a designated driver when they know they're going to be out drinking.
  • More than 50 percent said the penalty for first-offense drunken driving isn't severe enough.
  • More than 70 percent favor random police sobriety checkpoints.

Cell phone use may dial up crashes

A new study, released in February 1997 by the New England Journal of Medicine, might have you putting some distance between yourself and drivers busy talking on their cell phones. University of Toronto researchers discovered:
  • Cell phone users were four to five times more likely to have crashes than non-users.
  • Cell phone units that allow the hands to be free offer no safety advantage over hand-held units.
The main factor in most motor vehicle collisions is driver inattentiveness.

According to the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association (CTIA), there are 100 million wireless subscribers today, which is more than 36 percent of the United States population. While convenient, using cell phones while driving can be hazardous. The American Automobile Association offers these tips:
  • Make sure your phone is mounted where you can easily reach it while driving. The phone should be within comfortable reach in your usual driving position and as close as possible to your line of vision.
  • Know all the operations of your cellular phone, and learn to use it without looking.
  • Keep your attention on the road by programming frequently called numbers into the phone's memory to minimize dialing.
  • Dial sensibly. Wait for a stop light, pull off the road to dial, or ask a passenger to dial for you.
  • Don't use your cellular phone in distracting traffic situations. Pull off the road to make a call.
  • Be careful about where you stop to make calls.
  • When calling 911 to report an emergency, be prepared to provide the closest major cross streets or off-ramps, and know your cellular phone number.
  • Use your voice mail to take calls or leave yourself messages. Never take notes while driving.
  • Disconnect your cellular phone when using jumper cables; the power surge could burn out your phone.
A few states actually regulate cell phone use, including California, Florida, Massachusetts, Oklahoma and Minnesota. Oklahoma and Minnesota require police to include cell phone information in accident reports. Several countries prohibit cell phone use while driving including England, Switzerland, Spain, Australia and Italy.

Police suggest calling 911 from your cellular phone only in true emergencies:
    Emergencies Unreported collisions
  • Any life-threatening event
  • Any crime against you or another person
  • A vehicle or object blocking traffic lanes
  • A suspected drunk driver
    Non-emergencies (Do not use 911)
  • A stalled vehicle off the roadway
  • A broken-down vehicle that is not a hazard
  • Winter road conditions
  • A stolen vehicle when nothing is known about the suspected thief
  • Asking for directions
  • Testing your phone
When you dial 911, the call from your cellular phone is routed to the appropriate emergency response authority.

You must be prepared to provide:
  • Exact location of vehicle in distress
  • Nature of emergency
  • Your name and cellular number, including area code

Aggressive Driving: Asking for Trouble

An 86-year-old Washington, D.C., resident was hit by a car traveling 90 mph on a city street.
  • Are You an Aggressive Driver?
  • Safety and Preventive Measures
  • Aggressive Driving Facts
Aggressive drivers are becoming more visible, according to a Media and Injury Prevention Program at the University of Southern California. "Aggressive driving is now the most common way of driving," says co-director Sandra Ball-Rokeach. "It's not just a few crazies -- it's a subculture of driving."A recent study by the Automobile Association of America (AAA) revealed that 44 percent of drivers in Washington, DC, worry more about aggressive drivers than about drunken drivers. Stories of aggressive drivers chasing, punching or shooting their victims are common. But you might avoid becoming a victim if you know how to remain calm and avoid acting upon your feelings. Sure, people cut you off, honk their horns or pass you on the right, but reacting angrily only makes matters worse. Results can be deadly.
Aggressive driving facts

Aggressive driving: asking for trouble

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says, about 66 percent of all traffic fatalities annually are caused by aggressive driving behaviors, such as passing on the right, running red lights and tailgating.

At least 20 percent of adults have hostility levels serious enough to be a health hazard. (Source: USA TODAY)

Aggressive driving incidents are defined as events in which an angry or impatient driver tries to kill or injure another driver after a traffic dispute. (Source: U.S. News & World Report)

Aggressive driving incidents have risen by 51 percent since 1990. And 37 percent of these incidents involved firearms. (Source: U.S. News & World Report)

The number of drivers on the road is increasing. As of 1990, 91 percent of people drove to work.

Commuters in one-third of the largest cities spent well over 40 hours a year in traffic jams. (Source: U.S. News & World Report)

Aggressive driving may be on the upswing, so remember not to panic and avoid confrontations when possible.

This post first appeared on All The Insurances You Need, please read the originial post: here

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