National Safety Month: Part 1

National Safety Month

National Safety Month: Part 1

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that there are roughly 29.3 million emergency room visits in the United States every year due to unintentional injuries. Since June is National Safety Month, we are encouraging everyone to do what they can to keep themselves and others safe!

CAR & TRUCK ACCIDENTS

Always wear your seatbelt. Buckling your seatbelt helps to keep you securely inside your vehicle should you be in a car accident. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), wearing a seatbelt while in the front seat of a car decreases your risk of fatal injury by 45% and your risk of moderate to critical injury by 50%.

Respect the speed limit. The most common reasons that drivers speed include traffic, running late, anonymity, and disregard for others. Speeding can result in loss of vehicle control, reduced effectiveness of occupant protection equipment, and increased severity of a crash. According to the NHTSA, in 2018, speeding was considered a factor in 26% of all traffic fatalities.

Keep your distance from other cars. As a general rule, there should be three seconds of distance between your car and the car ahead of you. This gives you a proper amount of time to react and lowers your chance of rear-ending the car in front of you should they stop unexpectedly.

Avoid driving in poor weather conditions. If possible, avoid driving when it is dark, raining, snowing, or if the roads are icy. On average, each year, 21% of vehicle crashes are weather-related.

Don’t drink and drive. According to the NHTSA, roughly 28 people die in the United States every day because of drunk driving. If you are intoxicated, do not operate a vehicle.

Don’t drive distracted. Driving distracted includes forgoing texting while driving, putting an address into the GPS, fiddling with the radio, and much more. Eating and drinking, doing your makeup in the rearview mirror, and even talking to passengers have all proven to be life-threatening distractions for you, your passengers, and others on the road.

Don’t drive when drowsy. The NHTSA estimates that in 2017, 91,000 police-reported crashes involved drowsy drivers. These accidents generally happen when there is only one person in the vehicle and most often between midnight and 6 am. Many truck accidents happen because of drowsy driving.

Keep your car well-maintained. Cracked windshields, faulty brakes, worn-out brake pads, bald tires, broken lights, and old wipers all increase the risk of an accident due to limited control and visibility while driving, so make sure to keep your car well-maintained.

MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENTS

Wear the right gear. There is plenty of gear designed specifically for motorcyclists that help prevent injuries. Wearing the right helmet, jacket, pants, boots, and gloves can help prevent injury in case of an accident.

Be alert while on the road. Motorcycles, compared to other vehicles on the road, can be difficult to see. Stay as visible as possible, be aware of those around you, and drive defensively, assuming the other drivers cannot see you.

Keep an eye out for potential hazards. Motorcyclists must be aware of much more than your average motorist. Be on the lookout for patches of sand, potholes, railroad tracks, construction, and other obstacles that might pose a danger.

Take the same precautions as if you were driving a vehicle. These precautions include reducing your speed, keeping your distance from other cars, avoiding poor weather conditions, avoiding intoxicated or drowsy driving, staying focused, and keeping your motorcycle well-maintained.

BOAT ACCIDENTS

Follow all boating and navigation rules. These rules provide guidance on what to do in crossing situations, meeting another boat head-on, and overtaking situations. There are also Aids to Navigation (ATONs) which are man-made objects used to determine position and whether a course is safe. These ATONs can include buoys, day beacons, lights, lightships, lighthouses, radio beacons, fog signals, marks, and more.

Maintain adequate safety equipment on board. All boats should have enough life jackets and other floatation devices for each passenger on board. Other necessary equipment includes a first aid kit, emergency supplies, boat lights, a fire extinguisher, and an anchor. The Coast Guard has estimated that 70% of boat accident deaths occur because of drowning and that 84% of those who drown were not wearing a life jacket.

Load passengers and gear carefully. There are hundreds of accidents and injuries caused by problems loading passengers or gear. Make sure to anchor properly and consider weight distribution to avoid capsizing.

Closely monitor the weather and water conditions. The Coast Guard estimates that roughly 700 boating accidents occur in a single year because of environmental issues such as congested waterways, problems with dams, missing navigation aids, and hazardous waterways. If the weather looks less than ideal, it is suggested you head for shore.

Maintain a safe speed. Just like with cars on the road, boats in the water must respect the established speed limit. Travel within the speed limit to help prevent boating accidents.

BUS ACCIDENTS

Don’t distract the bus driver. Don’t yell, scream, or cause a commotion while on the bus. Hold or store your items securely so that they don’t fall.

If the bus driver is doing something unsafe, report them. The driver is responsible for many lives while operating the bus. Therefore, they should be paying attention to the road and doing all that they can to avoid a bus accident. If you see them behaving in an unsafe manner such as being on the phone or driving under the influence, report them.

Watch your step as you get on and off the bus. Do not enter or exit the bus until it is at a full stop. Look for any hazards that could cause you to slip or fall such as ice, puddles, or objects on the sidewalk. Make sure that your jacket or bag does not get caught while getting on or off the bus.

Sit down if there is a seat available. Being seated lowers your risk of injury should the bus make any sudden, unexpected movements. If you are standing, hold tightly to the handle and pay attention. If you fall, it could hurt not only you but also the other passengers on the bus.

Research shows that 99% of accidents are preventable. If you or someone you know has been injured due to another’s negligence, contact Rob Levine & Associates today for a free case evaluation!

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