The May 2013 Click It or Ticket Mobilization will play a critical role in the effort to keep people safe on our nation’s roads and highways. From Monday May 20 thru June 2, 2013 law enforcement agencies nationwide will conduct Click It or Ticket campaigns that incorporate zero-tolerance enforcement of safety belt laws with paid advertising and the support of government agencies, local coalitions and school officials to increase safety belt use and defend against one of the greatest threats to us all – serious injury or death in traffic crashes.
It’s easy to recognize at least one popular national slogans:
- Buckle Up For Safety
- Seat Belts Save Lives
- Buckle Up America
- Click it or Ticket
Click It or Ticket is the current national and high-publicity law enforcement effort that gives people more of a reason to buckle up – the increased threat of a traffic ticket. Most people buckle up for safety and it is the law.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the chances of being killed at night in an automobile accident are three times higher than during daytime hours. Nighttime is also when seat belt use declines significantly. In 2012, more than 22,000 automobile occupants died in traffic
accidents during nighttime hours, and 60 percent of those killed were not wearing seat belts.
Adults of all ages should always wear their safety belts, even on short trips. The lap belt should fit snugly across the upper thighs and not ride up on the stomach. The shoulder part of the belt should fit across the collarbone and chest and not cut into the neck or face. People always make excuses for not wearing them. Here are the top 10 from the NHTSA:
Click It or Ticket: Top 10 Excuses for Not Buckling Up
Below are the top 10 excuses officers in New Mexico, Texas and across America hear for not buckling up, along with responses. NHTSA frequently hears similar excuses from highway safety offices and law enforcement across the nation.
1. I’m afraid of getting stuck in a crashed car. If you’re not buckled up at the time of a crash, you’re more likely to be killed or knocked unconscious and unable to get out of the car at all. I you are buckled up, you’re more likely to stay in place and remain conscious, in control of the vehicle, and able to make smart decisions.
2. It irritates the skin on my neck or chest. Most new vehicles have adjustable shoulder height positioners that let you to move the shoulder belt up or down for a more comfortable fit. In older cars, wear clothes with a higher neck to provide some extra padding.
3. It makes me feel restrained. That’s what it’s supposed to do. In a crash, it keeps you in your seat so you won’t be thrown around or out of the vehicle where you’re four times more likely to be killed than if you remain the car. Driver side seat belts are designed to allow free movement of the occupant until a crash occurs (or until you jam on your breaks!).
4. I’m too large to wear a seat belt. It doesn’t fit. You can purchase a seat belt extender, which can usually resolve this issue.
5. I can’t look over my shoulder before turns. Yes, you can. A seat belt doesn’t restrain your head; it restrains your chest.
6. I forgot. Most cars have annoying seat belt reminder systems that beep every minute or so when the seat belt isn’t buckled.
7. Nobody tells me what to do in my car. States have many traffic laws that mandate what people can or cannot do. It’s illegal to drive drunk; it’s illegal to speed; and it’s illegal to drive or ride without a seat belt.
8. I have an air bag. I don’t need a seat belt. Air bags are designed to work in conjunction with seat belts, not as a restraint system alone. They are not soft cushy pillows. They deploy at approximately 250 miles an hour (the blink of an eye) and begin to deflate immediately after deployment. If you’re not buckled up, you will land in the air bag. Since it starts to deflate immediately, you will still be at risk for crashing into the steering column or through the windshield. Additionally, your front bumper must impact the object to set off your air bag in the first place!
9. I can’t wear a seat belt because I can’t feed my baby with it on. If you’re driving, your eyes should be on the road. If you’re trying to feed your baby in the backseat, you can’t possibly be focusing your attention on the road and you are risking both of your lives. If you’re a passenger and need to feed your baby a bottle, sit in the back seat with the baby. Both of you should be properly restrained. Nursing mothers should never feed a baby while the vehicle is moving. If someone crashes into your car, the laws of physics will make it impossible for you to hold onto your baby. Pull over to a safe location to nurse.
10. I have a medical condition. I can’t wear it. This can be a valid excuse, but only if you have a written medical note from your doctor. Carry it in your purse or wallet so it remains with you if you are a passenger in someone else’s vehicle.
The safest place in a vehicle for children to sit is in the back seat.
Use rear-facing child safety seats for infants from birth to at least 1 year, and at least 20 pounds. Infants in rear-facing child safety seats must never ride in the front seat of a vehicle with a passenger-side airbag.Use forward-facing child safety seats for children who are over age 1 and 20 pounds, to about age 4 and 40 pounds.
Children from age 4 to at least age 8, and under 4′ 9″ tall or weight 40-80 lbs, who have outgrown forward-facing child safety seats should use booster seats with a lap-shoulder belt. A booster seat raises a child up so that the safety belt fits correctly.
A child who is age 8 and 4′ 9″ or taller or weight 80 lbs or more can use a safety belt. The lap belt should rest low and fit snugly across the child’s upper thighs. The shoulder belt should be centered on the shoulder and across the chest. The child should also be able to sit all the way back against the vehicle seat back with his or her knees bent comfortably over the edge of the seat.
Please remember the following guidelines when buying the proper safety seat for your child.
· Birth-1 Year, Up to 35 Pounds
o Use a rear-facing seat until your baby reaches the weight limit or height limit of the seat.
o Secure the chest clip even with your baby’s armpits.
o Fasten harness straps snugly against your baby’s body.
· 1-4 Years, 20 to 40 Pounds
o Use a forward-facing seat for as long as the safety seat manufacturer recommends it.
o Fasten harness straps snugly against your child’s body.
o Secure the chest clip even with your child’s armpits.
o Latch the tether strap to the corresponding anchor if your vehicle has one.
· 4-8 Years, Over 40 Pounds
o Use a booster seat.
o Fasten the lap belt across your child’s thighs and hips, not stomach.
o Strap the diagonal belt across the chest to rest on the shoulder, not the neck.
TEENAGE DRIVERS SAFETY
Leading Cause of Death for Teens
The heart of NHTSA’s mission is keeping families safe on America’s roadways. Young drivers, ages 15- to 20-years old, are especially vulnerable to death and injury on our roadways – traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers in America. Mile for mile, teenagers are involved in three times as many fatal crashes as all other drivers.
We Know the Causes
Research shows which behaviors contribute to teen-related crashes. Inexperience and immaturity combined with speed, drinking and driving, not wearing seat belts, distracted driving (cell phone use, loud music, other teen passengers, etc.), drowsy driving, nighttime driving, and other drug use aggravate this problem.
The Objective for 2013
Increasing seat belt use by teenage drivers, Implementing graduated driver licensing for states without (NM has it), and Reducing teens’ access to alcohol.
SEAT BELT SAFETY FOR PREGNANT WOMEN:
Safety belts also provide the best protection for expectant mothers and their unborn children. Pregnant women should place the shoulder belt across the chest – between the breasts – and away from the neck. The lap belt should fit across the hips/pelvis and below the stomach. Never place the shoulder belt behind the back or under the arm. Never place the lap belt on or above the stomach.
Air Bag Safety Facts
Airbags are designed to deploy only when they might be needed to prevent serious injury. In order for airbags to be effective they must deploy early in a crash; this typically occurs within the first 50 milliseconds (0.05 seconds) in a frontal crash and within the first 20 milliseconds (0.02 seconds) in a side crash. A vehicle’s airbag control module relies on feedback from sensors to predict whether a crash is severe enough to warrant airbag deployment. Older vehicles use front bumper only sensors for air bag deployment.
AIR BAG FACTS
· Air bags are safety devices designed to deploy in frontal but not other types of crashes. Most air bags will deploy only in a moderate-to-severe frontal crash.
· All new passenger cars were required to have driver and passenger air bags beginning with the 1998 model year. All new light trucks, including vans and sport utility vehicles, had the same requirement as of the 1999 model year.
· When all passenger vehicles are equipped with air bags, it is expected that more than 3,000 lives will be saved each year. (NHTSA)
· Driver air bags reduce deaths in frontal crashes by 50 percent for drivers wearing safety belts and 32 percent for unbelted drivers. Passenger air bags reduce deaths in frontal crashes by 14 percent for passengers wearing safety belts and 23 percent for unbelted passengers. (NHTSA)
· Occupants who are positioned too close to an air bag when it begins to deploy are at risk of serious injury. Since 1990, 149 deaths have been attributed to air bags deploying in low-speed crashes. (NHTSA) The deaths have included 68 children between ages 1 and 11, and 18 infants. (NHTSA) Of the 68 children killed, 54 are believed to have been unbuckled. (IIHS)
· Most air bag deaths have occurred when adults or children are not properly using safety belts or correctly placed in a child safety seat. Others are at risk due to positioning – such as drivers who are less than ten inches from the steering wheel and infants who are placed in rear-facing child safety seats near a passenger air bag. (NHTSA)
AIR BAG SAFETY FACTS
· Rear-facing child safety seats should NEVER be placed in the front seat of vehicles with passenger air bags. The impact of a deploying air bag on a rear-facing child safety seat can result in death or serious injury to the child. (NHTSA and IIHS)
· Steering wheel should be a minimum of 10 inches from the driver. Angle your wheel. By tilting your steering wheel downward, you ensure that when the airbag deploys it will do so towards your chest and not your head. If the airbag hits you too far up you can suffocate or suffer a serious head/neck injury.
· Hands on the steering wheel should be at least on the 9 and 3 o’clock position or lower to reduce broken wrist/arms when airbag deployed.
· The safest place for children under age 12 is in the back seat, properly restrained, and away from the force of a deploying air bag. (NHTSA and IIHS)
· If children must sit in front, make sure the vehicle seat is all the way back and that the child is securely buckled and sitting back in the seat at all times. (NHTSA and IIHS)
· NHTSA has procedures in place to allow those who are at risk of injury from an air bag to obtain on/off switches for the air bag. Only a small percentage of people those who cannot avoid being seated too close to an air bag should obtain an on/off switch. Before obtaining an on/off switch, small-statured drivers should consider installing pedal extenders in their automobile or look into newly manufactured automobiles that have pedal adjusters included as standard equipment.
If you do not have an airbag shutoff switch, you can have one installed after obtaining permission from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
IMPROVED AIR BAG SAFETY
· On September 18, 1998, NHTSA proposed new rules to improve air bag safety by requiring the introduction of advanced air bags over the next several years.
· These advanced air bag systems will increase air bag effectiveness and safety by reducing the risk of harm to out-of-position vehicle occupants from air bag deployment.
· The new air bag technology reduces air bag risks by adjusting or suppressing air bag deployment in instances in which an occupant would otherwise be at risk.
· Advanced air bags will enhance occupant protection and air bag safety but will not eliminate all risks. To make air bags as safe as possible, we also must increase safety belt and child safety seat use.
Motorcycles can also have frontal airbag, It is offered as an option on 2006 and later models of Honda’s Gold Wing touring motorcycle. Honda’s airbag is designed to deploy in severe frontal impacts and absorb some of the forward energy of the driver. No studies have been conducted into the real-world effectiveness of motorcycle airbags.
Honda Gold Wing touring motorcycle with frontal airbag
Together we can all make it safer on the highways. Safety First, Safety Always!
Today’s post comes to us courtesy of Ken Oswald, Safety and Security Manager for Plateau