As the school year gets underway, it’s great to see more kids walking to – and from – school. We want to remind parents and drivers to do their part to keep these kids safe. One fun idea is walking the route to school with your child to find the best places to cross the street or discuss the importance of making eye contact with drivers before you step into the road.
Here are a few other tips that will help keep everyone safe.
Tips for Walkers
- Developmentally, most kids can’t judge speeds and distances until at least age 10, so younger kids need to cross with an adult
- Did you know most walking injuries happen mid-block or someplace other than intersections? Whenever possible, cross the street at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks
- Look left, right and left again before crossing the street, and keep looking and listening while crossing
- Walk, don’t run, when crossing the street
- It’s always best to walk on sidewalks or paths, but if there are no sidewalks, walk facing traffic as far to the left as possible
- Remove headphones when crossing the street
- If you need to use your phone, stop walking
- Distraction among drivers is at an all-time high today, so try to make eye contact with the driver before you step into the road
Tips For Drivers
- Slow down and be especially alert in residential neighborhoods and school zones, before and after school hours
- Most walkers are injured mid-block, not at intersections, so watch out for kids who may dart into traffic or cross where they shouldn’t
- Give pedestrians the right of way at a crosswalk
- Using cell phones, even hands-free, makes it harder for drivers to be alert to walkers who may also be distracted on cell phones.
via Protect Kids as They Head Back to School.
The National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners (National Registry) is a Federal program that establishes requirements for healthcare professionals who perform physical qualification examinations for truck and bus drivers. To become a certified medical examiner (ME) and be listed on the National Registry, healthcare professionals must complete training and testing on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) physical qualifications standards and guidelines. The National Registry website is accessible to carriers, drivers, enforcement officials, and the general public.
All healthcare professionals whose scope of practice authorizes them to perform physical examinations, as defined by the State in which they practice,and who intend to perform physical examinations and issue medical certificates for commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers to meet the requirements of Section 391.41 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) must be certified and listed on FMCSA’s National Registry by May 21, 2014.
A list of tips for adults on staying safe:
- Don’t walk or jog early in the morning or late at night when the streets are deserted.
- When out at night, try to have a friend walk with you.
- Carry only the money you’ll need on a particular day.
- Don’t display your cash or any other inviting targets such as pagers, cell phones, hand-held electronic games, or expensive jewelry and clothing.
- If you think someone is following you, switch directions or cross the street. If the person continues to follow you, move quickly toward an open store or restaurant or a lighted house. Don’t be afraid to yell for help.
- Try to park in well-lighted areas with good visibility and close to walkways, stores, and people.
- Make sure you have your key out as you approach your door.
- Always lock your car, even if it’s in your own driveway; never leave your motor running.
- Do everything you can to keep a stranger from getting into your car or to keep a stranger from forcing you into his or her car.
- If a dating partner has abused you, do not meet him or her alone. Do not let him or her in your home or car when you are alone.
- If you are a battered spouse, call the police or sheriff immediately. Assault is a crime, whether committed by a stranger or your spouse or any other family member. If you believe that you and your children are in danger, call a crisis hotline or a health center (the police can also make a referral) and leave immediately.
- If someone tries to rob you, give up your property—don’t give up your life.
- If you are robbed or assaulted, report the crime to the police. Try to describe the attacker accurately. Your actions can help prevent someone else from becoming a victim.
via Protect Yourself From Violent Crime — National Crime Prevention Council.
A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury, or TBI, caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head that can change the way your brain normally works. Concussions can also occur from a fall or a blow to the body that causes the head and brain to move quickly back and forth.
Health care professionals may describe a concussion as a “mild” brain injury because concussions are usually not life-threatening. Even so, their effects can be serious.
via CDC – Concussion – Traumatic Brain Injury – Injury Center.
Many children are killed or seriously injured in backover incidents. A backover incident typically occurs when a vehicle coming out of a driveway or parking space backs over an unattended child because the driver did not see him or her.
- Teach children not to play in or around cars.
- Supervise children carefully when in and around vehicles.
- Always walk around your vehicle and check the area around it before backing up.
- Be aware of small children-the smaller a child, the more likely it is you will not see them.
- Teach children to move away from a vehicle when a driver gets in it or if the car is started.
- Have children in the area stand to the side of the driveway or sidewalk so you can see them as you are backing out of a driveway or parking space.
- Make sure to look behind you while backing up slowly in case a child dashes behind your vehicle unexpectedly.
- Take extra care if you drive a large vehicle because they are likely to have bigger blind zones. Roll down your windows while backing out of your driveway or parking space so that you’ll be able to hear what is happening outside of your vehicle.
- Teach your children to keep their toys and bikes out of the driveway.
- Because kids can move unpredictably, you should actively check your mirrors while backing up.
- Many cars are equipped with detection devices like backup cameras or warning sounds, but they cannot take the place of you actively walking around your car to make sure your children are safely out of the way. Do not rely solely on these devices to detect what’s behind your vehicle.
via Backovers | National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
People sitting in back seat should use safety belts for the same reasons they should use them in the front seat: to reduce serious injuries and fatalities in a crash. Lap and shoulder belts reduce the risk of fatal injury by 44 percent among back-seat outboard occupants in passenger cars and 73 percent among back-seat outboard occupants of vans and SUVs. In a frontal crash, drivers and front-seat passengers are at increased risk of injury from unbelted back-seat passengers, and in a side-impact crash, passengers sitting adjacent to unbelted passengers are at increased risk of injury. Exposure to unbelted occupants increases the risk of injury or death to other occupants in the vehicle by 40 percent.
“With every one of these fatalities, the lives of a workers family members were shattered and forever changed. We can’t forget that fact.”
-Hilda Solis, Secretary of Labor
via Occupational Safety and Health Administration – Home.
Summer is the peak season for one of the nations deadliest weather phenomena— lightning. But don’t be fooled, lightning strikes year round. In the United States, an average of 54 people are reported killed each year by lightning. To date, there have been 16 deaths in 2012. Hundreds of people are permanently injured each year. People struck by lightning suffer from a variety of long-term, debilitating symptoms, including memory loss, attention deficits, sleep disorders, chronic pain, numbness, dizziness, stiffness in joints, irritability, fatigue, weakness, muscle spasms, depression, and more. Lightning is a serious danger.
via NWS Lightning Safety.
Safety while walking is a shared responsibility for all road users, including drivers and pedestrians. The following are some tips to improve safety.
Safety tips for pedestrians
Be safe and be seen: make yourself visible to drivers
- Wear bright/light colored clothing and reflective materials.
- Carry a flashlight when walking at night.
- Cross in a well-lit area at night.
- Stand clear of buses, hedges, parked cars or other obstacles before crossing so drivers can see you.
Be smart and alert: avoid dangerous behaviors
- Always walk on the sidewalk; if there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic.
- Stay sober; walking while impaired increases your chance of being struck.
- Don’t assume vehicles will stop; make eye contact with drivers, don’t just look at the vehicle. If a driver is on a cell phone, they may not be paying enough attention to drive safely.
- Don’t rely solely on pedestrian signals; look before you cross the road.
- Be alert to engine noise or backup lights on cars when in parking lots and near on-street parking spaces.
Be careful at crossings: look before you step
- Cross streets at marked crosswalks or intersections, if possible.
- Obey traffic signals such as WALK/DON’T WALK signs.
- Look left, right, and left again before crossing a street.
- Watch for turning vehicles; make sure the driver sees you and will stop for you.
- Look across ALL lanes you must cross and visually clear each lane before proceeding. Just because one motorist stops, do not presume drivers in other lanes can see you and will stop for you.
- Don’t wear headphones or talk on a cell phone while crossing.
via walkinginfo.org: Walking Safely.
What are the risks of drinking?
You may have heard that regular light to moderate drinking can be good for the heart. With heavy or at-risk drinking, however, any potential benefits are outweighed by greater risks, including
- Injuries. Drinking too much increases your chances of being injured or even killed. Alcohol is a factor, for example, in about 60% of fatal burn injuries, drownings, and homicides; 50% of severe trauma injuries and sexual assaults; and 40% of fatal motor vehicle crashes, suicides, and fatal falls.
- Health problems. Heavy drinkers have a greater risk of liver disease, heart disease, sleep disorders, depression, stroke, bleeding from the stomach, sexually transmitted infections from unsafe sex, and several types of cancer. They may have problems managing diabetes, high blood pressure, and other conditions.
- Birth defects. Drinking during pregnancy can cause brain damage and other serious problems in the baby. Because it is not yet known whether any amount of alcohol is safe for a developing baby, women who are pregnant or may become pregnant should not drink.
- Alcohol use disorders. Generally known as alcoholism and alcohol abuse, alcohol use disorders are medical conditions that doctors can diagnose when a patient’s drinking causes distress or harm. In the United States, about 18 million people have an alcohol use disorder.
Beyond these physical and mental health risks, frequent heavy drinking also is linked with personal problems, including losing a driver’s license and having relationship troubles.
via What are the risks? – Rethinking Drinking – NIAAA.