Preventing Motor Vehicle Injuries

Preventing Motor Vehicle Injuries

About 75% of all motor vehicle collisions occur within 25 miles of home and at speeds lower than 40 mph. These crashes often occur because the driver believes safety measures are not necessary for short trips. Clearly, the statistics prove otherwise.

To prevent motor vehicle injuries:

• Obey the speed limit. If you have to speed to get to your destination on time, you’re not allowing enough time.

• Always wear a safety belt and ask passengers to do the same. Strap infants and toddlers into government-approved car seats in the back seat. Children who have outgrown child safety seats but who are still too small for adult safety belts alone (usually age 4-8) should be secured using booster seats. All children under 12 should ride in the back seat.

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• Never drive under the influence of alcohol or other drugs or with a driver who is.

• Do not drive when you are sleepy or have been awake for 18 or more hours.

• Avoid using your cell phone while driving your primary obligation is to pay attention to the road. If you do make calls, follow laws set by your city or state. Place calls when you are at a stop, and keep them short. Pull over if the conversation is stressful or emotional.

• Never text while driving.

• Keep your car in good working order. Regularly inspect tires, oil and fluid levels, windshield wipers, spare tire, and so on.

• Always allow enough following distance. Follow the “3-second rule”: When the vehicle ahead passes a reference point, count out 3 seconds. If you pass the reference point before you finish counting, drop back and allow more following distance.

• Always increase following distance and slow down if weather or road conditions are poor.

• Choose major highways rather than rural roads. Highways are much safer because of better visibility, wider lanes, fewer surprises, and other factors.

• Always signal before turning or changing lanes.

• Stop completely at stop signs. Follow all traffic laws.

• Take special care at intersections. Always look left, right, and then left again. Make sure you have plenty of time to complete your maneuver in the intersection.

• Don’t pass on two-lane roads unless you are in a designated passing area and have a clear view ahead.

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