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VEHICLE SAFETY. INFORMATION AND PREVENTION. July 2008. Training Objectives. Recognize the dangers and causes of vehicle crashes. Recognize the importance of wearing seat belts and using child safety seats. Identify tips to keep young drivers safe.

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  2. Training Objectives • Recognize the dangers and causes of vehicle crashes. • Recognize the importance of wearing seat belts and using child safety seats. • Identify tips to keep young drivers safe. • Recognize the importance of not driving while drunk.

  3. Motor Vehicle Fatalities • In the United States, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of injury death for children and adults and the second leading cause of injury death for children ages birth to one. • Motor vehicle fatalities include drivers and passengers of motor vehicles, pedestrians who are struck by motor vehicles, bicyclists and occupants in any other form of transportation, including all-terrain vehicles.

  4. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), every day in the United States, an average of 5 children age 14 and younger were killed, and 568 were injured in motor vehicle crashes during 2006. • In the 14 and under age group, males accounted for 55 percent of the fatalities and 49 percent of those injured in motor vehicle crashes during 2006.

  5. Crashes Involving No Restraints • According to the NHTSA, 6,983 passenger vehicle occupants age 14 and younger were involved in fatal crashes in 2006. For those children where restraint use was known, 25 percent were unrestrained; among those who were fatally injured, 45 percent were unrestrained.

  6. In 2006, there were 452 passenger vehicle occupant fatalities among children under 5 years of age. Of those 452 fatalities, where restraint use was known (427), 149 (35%) were totally unrestrained. (NHTSA)

  7. Crashes Involving Pedestrians and Cyclists • According to the NHTSA, there were a total of 4,784 pedestrian fatalities in 2006. The 14 and under age group accounted for 331 (7%) of those fatalities. Almost one fifth (18%) of the traffic fatalities in the 14 and under age group were pedestrians. • A total of 773 pedal-cyclists were killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2006. The 14 and under age group accounted for 13 percent (98) of those fatalities.

  8. Alcohol-Related Crashes • According to the NHTSA, there were 419 (23%) fatalities among children age 14 and younger in crashes involving alcohol in 2006. Of those 419 fatalities, 202 were passengers in vehicles with drivers who had been drinking with blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels of .01 gram per deciliter (g/dL) or higher.

  9. An additional 108 children were killed as passengers in vehicles with drivers who had not been drinking. Another 62 children age 14 and younger, who were killed in traffic crashes in 2006, were pedestrians or pedal-cyclists who were struck by drinking drivers (BAC .01 g/dL or higher).

  10. Missouri Motor Vehicle Fatalities • Of the 133 motor vehicle deaths among Missouri children in 2006, 107 were reported to the Child Fatality Review Program (CFRP); 93 (90%) of those were reviewed by a local CFRP panel. • Of those, two motor vehicle fatalities were determined to be Homicides.

  11. Restraint Safety • Many children and adults die every year due to not wearing seatbelts or not being properly restrained in a car seat. • According to NHTSA, seat belt usage in Missouri, in 2007, was 77.2%. Nationwide, seatbelt use was 82%.

  12. Research has shown that lap/shoulder seatbelts, when used, reduce the risk of fatal injury to front seat occupants (age 5 and older) of passenger cars by 45 percent, and the risk of moderate-to-critical injury by 50 percent. For light-truck occupants, seatbelts reduce the risk of fatal injury by 60 percent and the risk of moderate-to-critical injury by 65 percent. (NHTSA)

  13. Research on the effectiveness of child safety seats has found them to reduce fatal injury by 71 percent for infants (less than 1 year old) and by 54 percent for toddlers (1-4 years old) in passenger cars. For infants and toddlers in light trucks, the corresponding reductions are 58 percent and 59 percent, respectively. (NHTSA)

  14. Among children under age 5, an estimated 425 lives were saved in 2006, by child restraint use. Of these 425 lives saved, 392 were associated with the use of child safety seats and 32 with the use of adult seatbelts. • If there had been 100 percent child safety seat use for children under age 5, an estimated 518 lives (that is, an additional 98) could have been saved in 2005. (NHTSA)

  15. How to Wear a Safety Belt • According to the Missouri Department of Transportation (MODOT), seatbelts must be worn correctly to be effective. • The lap belt should be worn low and snug across the hips. The shoulder belt should be placed over the shoulder and across the chest. Safety belts that ride up against your stomach or across your neck (instead of your shoulder), may not protect you in a crash. Never place the shoulder belt under your arm or behind your back — this could result in serious or fatal injury.

  16. Pregnant women should always wear safety belts with the lap belt as low as possible across the hips throughout pregnancy. • Safety belts can be dangerous for small children. Safety belts that are in the wrong position may hurt a child in a crash, or they may not hold them in the vehicle seat. Young children should be placed in the appropriate child safety seat until they are over 4 feet 9 inches tall and have outgrown the limits of their safety seat. • The NTHSA recommends that children 12 and under ride in the back seat. That's the safest place.

  17. Air Bag Safety • Safety belts should be worn in combination with air bag systems. They keep your body in the safest position so an air bag can do its job. • Drivers with air bags should keep at least a 10-inch distance between the air bag and their breast bone.

  18. A tilt steering wheel should be tilted down so the air bag will deploy toward the chest and not the head. • Never place a rear-facing infant seat in front of a passenger side air bag. (Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety)

  19. Child Safety Seats • According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP), the worst possible place for a child to ride is in the arms of an adult. An unrestrained adult can crush a child against the dashboard. • The safest place for a child under 12 years of age, is to be secured in the back seat.

  20. A rear-facing infant seat should not be used in a front passenger seat equipped with an air bag. The air bag could hit the back of the safety seat and could seriously injure the baby’s head and brain. • A child safety seat holds on to a child in a crash and keeps them from hitting dangerous objects or from being thrown from the vehicle.

  21. Types of Child Safety Seats • An infant seat is designed for children up to 20 pounds. It should be placed rear-facing in the back seat. • Convertible seats are for children up to 40 pounds. They face rearward in the infant position, and convert to sit upright and face forward for toddler position.

  22. Booster seats are for children who have outgrown other safety seats and can be used with an adult lap belt and shoulder belt. • Lap/shoulder belts should be used for children age eight or older, or who weigh 80 pounds or more. The lap belt should stay low and snug across the hips without riding up over the stomach, and the shoulder belt does not cross the face or front of the neck. (MSHP)

  23. Fatalities Among Missouri Teens • The Missouri State Highway Patrol reports that in 2006, there were 215 fatal crashes in Missouri that involved drivers under the age of 21. • In Missouri in 2006, there were 11,864 personal injury crashes involving drivers under the age of 21.

  24. Fatalities Among U.S. Teens • According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for U.S. teens, accounting for 36% of all deaths in this age group (2006). • In the U.S. during 2004, 4,767 teens ages 16 to 19 died of injuries caused by motor vehicle crashes.

  25. Reasons Teens Have Vehicle Crashes • According to the Missouri Department of Transportation (MODOT), there are three reasons why young drivers are involved in vehicle crashes. • The first is inexperience. Many young drivers lack the judgment and technical ability of older, more experienced drivers.

  26. Young drivers are more apt to take risks. This impulsiveness can result in poor driving judgment. • Many teens drive at night with other teens in their vehicles. They are often distracted by their friends. During night driving, reaction time is slower, since the driver can only see as far as the headlights allow. This combination often leads to crashes.

  27. Safety Tips for Young Drivers • MODOT suggests the following safety tips for young drivers: • Wear your safety belt. • One reason some young drivers have accidents, is because they are distracted. Here are some tips from MODOT: • Pull off of the road to find a safe place to talk on the cell phone or look for items in the vehicle. • Program radio stations or make CD selections, before you get on the road.

  28. Do not let others ride with you, if they distract you. • Never read while you are driving. • Plan your trip and get directions to your destination before you leave. • Do not put on makeup, shave or eat while driving.

  29. Obey the speed limit. Speeding is a major cause of traffic accidents. These are some things to keep in mind: • Always drive at a safe speed. The speed limit is the maximum speed allowed under normal conditions. When adjusting speed, take into account driving ability, the capability of your vehicle, the roadway and weather conditions.

  30. Slow down in rain, fog, snow and ice, and keep at least twice the normal stopping distance between you and vehicle in front of you. • Slow down when approaching curves, intersections, downhill grades, heavy traffic and work zones.

  31. Many traffic crashes occur because people do not stay on their side of the roadway or they make turns incorrectly. Here are some tips: • Make sure you are in a legal passing zone before passing another vehicle. It is illegal to pass on the right or the shoulder of the roadway. • Use turn signals about 100 feet before the turn or intersection and when changing lanes.

  32. Make sure your vehicle is in the proper lane for turning. Do not cross over into another lane of traffic. • Slow down appropriately (or stop, if required) before making a turn. • Pay attention to your lane position, keeping your vehicle in the center of your lane. • Do not pass on hills, curves or at intersections.

  33. Alcohol and Vehicle Crashes • Alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes kill someone every 31 minutes and non-fatally injures someone every two minutes. (NHTSA, 2006) • Nearly 1.4 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics in 2005. (Department of Justice, 2005)

  34. Alcohol and Young Drivers • It is illegal for anyone under 21 to purchase, possess or consume ANY amount of alcohol in ANY situation. Under Missouri's Zero Tolerance law, a teen’s license will be suspended if they're caught driving with even a trace of alcohol in their system - that means less than one drink can put them over the limit. • MODOT offers these tips to young drivers:

  35. Whatever you do, DO NOT attempt to drive yourself home, even if you think you're okay. • Ask a friend who hasn't had any alcohol to give you a ride. A designated driver is the person who has had NO alcohol. • If you and all your friends have been drinking, call a parent, older sibling or even a cab. Everyone will be glad you chose the safe way home.

  36. If you've been drinking at a friend's house, staying where you are is always safer than gambling with your own life and the lives of others. • See a friend stumbling to their car? Get their keys and find them a safe way home. You could be saving their life, or someone else’s.

  37. Stopping A Friend From Driving Drunk • The NHTSA and the Advertising Council's Innocent Victims public service campaign emphasizes the need to intervene and get the keys away from someone about to drive drunk. • The following tips are from this campaign:

  38. If it is a close friend, try and use a soft, calm approach at first. Suggest to them that they've had too much to drink and it would be better if someone else drove or if they took a cab. • Be calm. Joke about it. Make light of it. • Try to make it sound like you are doing them a favor. • If it is somebody you don't know well, speak to their friends and have them make an attempt to persuade them to hand over the keys. Usually they will listen.

  39. If it's a good friend, spouse or significant other, tell them that if they insist on driving, you are not going with them. Suggest that you will call someone else for a ride, take a cab or walk. • Locate their keys while they are preoccupied and take them away. Most likely, they will think they've lost them and will be forced to find another mode of transportation. • If possible, avoid embarrassing the person or being confrontational, particularly when dealing with men. This makes them appear vulnerable to alcohol and its effects.

  40. For More Information, Visit These Websites • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC), http://www.cdc.gov/ncipc/factsheets/teenmvh.htm • Missouri Department of Transportation,http://www.modot.mo.gov/safety/index.htm • Missouri State Highway Patrol, http://www.mshp.dps.mo.gov/MSHPWeb/Publications/Brochures/documents/SHP-740.pdf

  41. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, *http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/ *http://www.nhtsa.gov/portal/site/nhtsa/menuitem.9f8c7d6359e0e9bbbf30811060008a0c/ *http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/people/injury/alcohol/innocent/index.html • Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety,http://www.savemolives.com/

  42. Address: PO Box 208Jefferson City, MO 65102-0208 Telephone: (573) 751-5980(800) 487-1626(8 a.m. to 5 p.m. CST, Monday – Friday) Email: dls.stat@dss.mo.gov Missouri Department of Social Services State Technical Assistance Team

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