Teen Driver Safety Week

shutterstock_270635069National Teen Driver Safety Week is recognized each year during October.  Designated by Congress to raise awareness of teen driver safety topics and to encourage safe teen driver and passenger behavior when driving on the road, the program is now in its 10th year!

Research done by the American Automobile Association (AAA) shows that even though there has been a decrease in vehicle crashes, teen drivers still continue to have the highest crash rate. One of the major factors that increases the risk of a crash is impaired driving. This doesn’t only include alcohol or drug use, but this can also be caused by a distraction, fatigue, and strong emotions. Another major factor is the use of cell phones while on the road. Taking your eyes off the road for one second to check a text message, or to change the music playing can be a matter of life and death.

Teens (driving or not) understand that they are vulnerable and they are well aware of the many risks that affect safety both on and off the roads. It’s our job to make sure that they understand the importance of keeping their eyes on the road at all times and that following the law is a must when it comes to driving. Make sure you take part in Teen Driver Safety Week by spreading the word about #drivingsafety and other tips to help teens more aware of the risks they can face on and off the roads.

Drive Safely Work Week

dswwlogoDrive Safely Work Week is an annual campaign sponsored by the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS).  Each year this campaign aims to improve the safety of employees, families, and the community by preventing traffic crashes that occur both on and off the job. Drive Safely Work Week  is recognized nationally each year during the first full week of October, making this year’s campaign October 2-6.

Here are some tips to help you take part in Drive Safely Work Week:

Always be aware of what other drivers around you are doing. Not only does this safety tip apply for Drive Safely Work Week, but it applies for everyday driving and you should always expect the unexpected. Assume that the other motorists around you will do something crazy, and that way you will always be prepared to avoid it.

Keep a 2-second cushion between you and the car in front of you, that way you can be prepared to stop at a safe distance at any time.  If the weather happens to be bad, you should turn the 2 seconds into 4 seconds so you have extra time. Be sure that you always drive at the speed suitable to the conditions. The speed should allow you to stop well within the distance that you see to be clear.

According to the NETS, in 2010 there were nearly 5000 organizations that participated in Drive Safely Work Week. The campaign reached an estimated 20 million employees that participated in some way, shape or form. In order to continue this successful campaign, help spread the word about Drive Safely Work Week and take every precaution necessary to help prevent accidents.  Take the pledge to Drive Safe.

Is Your Child in the Right Seat?

Picture Source: http://www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov/cps

Picture Source: http://www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov/cps

Every 33 seconds, a child under the age of 13 is involved in a motor vehicle crash, making them the leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 13. After hearing that statistic, you’d certainly take every precaution necessary to ensure the safety of the passengers in your car.  On Saturday, September 23rd,  you’ll have that opportunity during National Car Seat Check Saturday.

These deaths and injuries can always be prevented by proper use of car seats, boosters, and seat belts.  Here is what you need to know to help you and  your passengers stay safe on the road at all times.

All children ages 12 and under should ride properly buckled up in the back seat of all motor vehicles at all times. Children should stay in booster seats until they are big enough to fit in a seat belt properly. For a seat belt to fit properly, both for children and adults the lap belt must lie across the thighs, never the stomach. The shoulder belt should lie snug across the shoulder and chest, and never across the neck or face. Once children have reached the proper height and weight to use a seat belt, remember that for the best protection they should remain in the back seat until age 12.

For all children 2 and under, they should always ride in a rear-facing car seat that is placed in the back seat of the vehicle. A rear-facing car seat should never be  in the front seat or in front of an airbag. Airbags can kill young children riding in the front seat, if they are not the proper height, weight and age. Keeping a child in a rear-facing car seat is best until they reach the maximum height or weight limit allowed for that particular car seat. Once they outgrow a rear-facing car seat, your child is now ready to travel in a forward-facing car seat with a harness. Roughly around ages 4-7, the child will outgrow the forward-facing car seat, and move to a booster seat, which is still placed in the back seat of the vehicle.

Safety Tips for Back to School

bigstock-Watch-Out-For-Children-427446As children across Middlesex County head #backtoschool this week, they will again be sharing the roads with school buses, other young pedestrians, and bicyclists.  Whether your children walk, ride their bike, or take the bus, help ensure they take the proper safety precautions​.

Children who walk to school:  When walking, stay on the sidewalk if one is available. If the street does not have a sidewalk, walk facing the traffic so as to have a clear view of the traffic.  When crossing a street,  look left, right and left again to see if any cars, buses, or bicyclists are coming.  If possible, make a point to set time aside to practice walking their route to school.  Together you can use pedestrians signals, ensure they are crossing streets correctly, and get a good idea of the path they are taking.

Children who bike to school: When riding a bike to and from school, children should always wear a proper fitted helmet and sneakers at all times. The same procedures apply when crossing the street.  Riders must come to complete stop, look left, right and left again, and always walk their bike across the street. Parents should practice and teach children the rules of the road to help insure they get to school safe and sound.

Children who ride the bus to school: Rain or shine, the big yellow bus gets the children to school. To ensure a safe ride to school, make sure children stand six feet away from the curb when a bus is pulling up or driving away. Remind children to fasten their seat belts and to remain seated throughout the ride.  While it’s exciting to chat with friends, children should keep  screaming and jumping for the playground and home so that the driver can focus on the road.

Regardless of how children make their way to school, we wish everyone a safe and enjoyable school year!