Avoid Tragedy During Prom Season!

Now that June is here, prom season is at it’s highest peak. It’s an event many teenagers diligently plan for months and eagerly await. However, all too often the excitement on prom night is overshadowed by a tragic event. IMG_7403

Vehicle accidents are the number one cause of death for young people aged 12 to 19. On prom night, it can be a particularly dangerous time with so many teens on the road late at night. According to AAA, 87% of teens reported that their friends have driven after drinking rather than calling home for a ride, just on prom night alone. On prom night, friends may try to use peer pressure to entice you to have a drink or two, but be sure to think about the dangers that come with underage drinking. Too many tragic incidents have already taken place where underage drinkers have gotten into driving accidents — causing lifelong injuries, paralysis, and for many even death.

For parents, make prom safety just as important as the dress your daughter will wear or the style of your son’s tuxedo. Giving teens your advice will play an important role when discussing teenage driving tips that might prevent them from becoming a tragic statistic on their prom night. Some tips you should cover are:

  1. Limit the number of kids in the car and make sure all passengers (including the driver) are wearing their seat belts.
  2. Instill the importance of concentration behind the wheel. Being distracted behind the wheel is a major cause of vehicle accidents, but its something that is very easy to avoid. Put down the phone, don’t listen to loud music and be sure to focus on the road.
  3. Discuss the dangers of drinking/drug use and driving. There will always be peer pressure and temptation on prom night. Be sure to remind your teen that the number one killer of teenagers is car accidents caused from driving under the influence.

Prom night is supposed to be something special and night full of great memories. As a teen you have your entire future ahead of you, so make sure it doesn’t get ruined by one night.

Memorial Day & Summer Kick-Off Driving Tips

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Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for those who have died in service and over the course of the years has been considered the unofficial  “kick-off” of the Summer season.  The day and long weekend are often marked by family gatherings, parades, barbecues, and road trips.  As a result, highways and local roads alike, see high volume of cars on the road along with traffic and impatient drivers. According to the National Safety Council, more than 400 people will be killed during their Memorial Day weekend travels.

When driving to your destination this weekend, here are a few tips to help insure you have a fun and safe travel weekend:

 

  1. Buckle Up  Always wear your seat belt on every trip and make sure your passengers are wearing theirs. If you are traveling with children, make sure they are restrained in safety seat that is appropriate for their height, age and weight.
  2. Don’t get Distracted  Never use your cell phone while driving, even if your hands are free. Avoid listening to loud music and eating during your drive, these can be more distracting than you think.
  3. Take Breaks  Get plenty of sleep and take regular breaks to avoid fatigue while on the road. If you know you have a long trip ahead of you, plan to have another driver to switch off with or plan to make a few rest stops during your travels.
  4. Plan Ahead  Don’t be in a rush to get to your destination. There will be plenty of cars on the road so it is important to keep a safe distance and go the speed limit while driving.  If you know you will be going to a party or gathering, always assign an alcohol and drug-free driver or arrange alternate transportation. Impairment begins with the first drink you have and its not worth getting behind the wheel afterwards.

Make sure you have fun by planning ahead so you, your family, and friends are sure to have a great time!

 

 

School Bus Safety For Kids!

Riding a school bus can be lots of fun as long as you follow the rules.  As a fourth grader, I have been riding the bus since Kindergarten and I have learned a lot of what it means to be safe on school bus.  Here are the three most important rules:

school bus safety1. Listen to the bus driver.

2. Wear your seat belt.

3. Don’t get up when the bus is moving

It is your job to follow these rules so that your bus driver can get you to school safely and on time.  Oh, and one more thing, never ever scream on the bus either.  That can be very distracting for the bus driver.

So buckle up and enjoy the ride to school.

Guest Blogger: Michael 4th grader in NJ

Call When You Can …Text When You Can’t

On February 16, 1968, State Senator Rankin Fite phoned the police chief in Haleyville, Alabama. hq720 Though the men had spoken before, this call was different.  It was the first time 9-1-1, the new nationwide emergency number was used.  Eleven years earlier, the National Association of Fire Chiefs proposed the designation of an emergency call number which was unique, easy to remember, and easy to dial.

Today, 9-1-1 is the universal emergency number in the US, Canada, parts of Mexico, the Philippines, and beyond.  Other countries may use a different emergency number sequence.  When travelling abroad, learn the universal emergency number for the area you are visiting.

The National Emergency Number Association estimates that 240 million 9-1-1 calls are made annually in the US.  And, 70% of those are made on wireless devices.  To make it easier for wireless callers to access 9-1-1, NJ introduced Text to 9-1-1 last fall.  The ability to text is helpful to those unable to talk in an emergency and to those with hearing impairments or speech disorders.

How to send a 9-1-1 text

  • Open the message app on or phone or wireless device
  • In the “To” field, type “911” with no punctuation
  • In the message field, type the location (address and municipality) and a brief description of the problem (ex. 123 Main St Franklin I hear someone breaking in)
  • Press “Send”
  • Be prepared to answer questions and follow instructions from the 9-1-1 call taker.  Keep text messages brief and concise.

 

When to text 9-1-1

If you have a speech or hearing impairment, notify 9-1-1 so they can inform responders

If speaking may cause you harm such as a break-in or domestic violence.  REMEMBER OT SILENCE YOUR PHONE SO THE SOUND OF THE 9-1-1 REPLY DOESN’T GIVE YOU AWAY.

If you are with a group and some members are doing something dangerous or illegal

If lack of service makes a voice call impossible, you may be able to get data service to send a text

DO NOT attempt to send videos or photos.  Limit your message to TEXT ONLY. Be as specific as possible about your location.  Provide as much of the following as possible:

  •                 Exact address including unit/apartment number and city
  •                 Business name
  •                 Names of both streets at the nearest intersection
  •                 Landmarks

Once you have begun texting, do no end the session until then 9-1-1 operator instructs you to do so.  Text to 9-1-1 cannot include more than 1 person. Do not copy your emergency to anyone other than

9-1-1. Wait until you are safe to notify others.  Translation services for text to 9-1-1 are not available.  Text in English only.