The mission of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is to reduce the following statistics by getting drivers and motorcyclists to change their behaviors once they get behind the wheel or on the streets: approximately 1,700 fatalities and 840,000 injuries annually occur due to vehicle crashes off public highways in the United States.   

Their theme for the period of December 16th through January 2nd is “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.”  Distracted driving accounts for many injuries and deaths each year.  If persons have parties to attend, they should always have a designated driver or know how they are going to get home and not get behind the wheel.  There are many causes of distracted driving, such as not paying attention to driving safely, cell phone use, driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, or letting the mind wander about other things, rather than driving. 

The National Safety Council estimates that there will be approximately 287 traffic fatalities and 28,700 medically consulted injuries that will occur during the Christmas holiday.  Their estimates for the New Year’s holiday are approximately 297 traffic fatalities and 29,700 medically consulted injuries.  The total of the two holidays add up to far too many accidents.  The NSC also states that seat belts are 45 per cent effective in preventing injuries.  So, please buckle up, drive sober and safely, and get to your holiday destination and back home safe and secure, and don’t become a statistic. 

Not only during the holidays, but during the winter, please think about following these tips:

  •          Keep your vehicles clear of ice and snow.  The key to good driving is good vision.
  •          Plan your stops and keep more distance between cars.
  •          Be extra alert.
  •          Always match your speed to the road and weather conditions.
  •          If you are not accustomed to driving in icy conditions, use extreme caution.  

What if you were trapped on the road because of weather conditions?  Here are tips to follow:

  •          Keep your cell phone charged so you can call for help.
  •          Stay in your car and wait for help.
  •          Run the engine for short periods of time to stay warm.
  •          Make sure your exhaust is clear of snow.
  •          Turn on the dome light at night when running the engine to signal rescuers.
  •          Hang a brightly colored piece of cloth or piece of clothing from your car.
  •          Exercise from time to time by moving arms, legs, fingers and toes to keep blood circulating and to keep warm.
  •          Always carry blankets and a supply of water and snacks, just in case. 

Please use care when driving during this season, as traffic will be heavier than usual; allow plenty of time to travel and take frequent stops.  We at Blog4Safety and Texas America Safety Company wish everyone a safe and Happy Holiday season.