AUTOMOBILE AND VEHICLE SAFETY
Texting While Driving is a Dangerous Practice.. and Against the Law!
Montlick & Associates' Family Safety Advocate, Jacquie Palisi, reminds people driving in Georgia of the new law prohibiting texting while driving and the penalties involved. The firm also introduces its new "Don't Text and Drive" public service announcement and billboard campaign to help remind drivers that texting behind the wheel is a dangerous and deadly practice. We encourage you to take the Montlick & Associates' Safe Driver Pledge today. Click on the links below to download the pledge form, and learn more about our driver safety initiatives designed to help keep you and your family safe on the roads.
Did you know that airbags save over 1,500 lives per year? For adults, airbags can seriously reduce the chance of injury in a crash - that's a good thing. What's not so good is that the force of an airbag when it's deployed can severely injure small children.
Why? Well, here's the reason: airbags inflate at speeds up to 200 mph - faster than the blink of an eye. They're designed to explode out of the dashboard and side panels of the car to protect the driver and front seat passenger from hitting hard surfaces like the dashboard or windshield during a collision. Now imagine that same explosive force hitting a child in the front seat of a car as they are jolted forward.
That's why the SAFEST PLACE FOR CHILDREN UNDER 12, TODDLERS AND BABIES (INCLUDING NEWBORNS) IS IN THE BACK SEAT OF THE CAR.
THE AIRBAG SAFETY CHECK LIST
- Children 12 and under (including newborns and toddlers) should ride buckled up in a rear seat. Parents should use child safety seats, booster seats or safety belts appropriate for their age and size.
- Infants must ride in the rear-facing child seats, securely fastened in the back seat of the car. Parents may be tempted to put babies in the front seat of the car - don't do it. The place for children is, and always has been, in the back seat.
- Make sure everyone buckles up with both lap and shoulder belts on every trip. Move the driver and front passenger seat as far back from the dashboard as practical.
- Parents with infants that require constant attention should have another adult ride with them. Why? Because it's easy to get distracted.
- Airbags only inflate in front- end crashes and collapse immediately to prevent suffocation. But whether you have airbags or not - always wear your safety belt.
THE FIVE MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT AIRBAGS
- Why are airbags dangerous to children, newborns and toddlers? -- Airbags are designed to inflate in the blink of an eye - that takes an incredible amount of force. That same force can severely hurt or kill passengers and drivers who are too close to the dashboard. It's always best to buckle all children under 12 in the back seat.
- How come airbags work for adults but not for children? -- An average size adult who is wearing their seat belt correctly is not likely to come in contact with the airbag until it's completely inflated. Unbelted or improperly belted children can easily fly off the seat when a driver slams the brakes to avoid a crash. That throws them to the dashboard where the force of the airbag inflating can cause serious injury or death.
- Why are children safer in the back seat? -- There are more head-on crashes than any other type. In the back seat, children are farthest away from the impact and from the risk associated with an inflating airbag.
- Isn't it less safe to have a baby in the back seat where the parent can't see them? -- No. The risk of having a serious crash is far more likely than the baby having a life-threatening problem in the back seat. It's best to think of it as if you are putting the baby down for a nap. This way drivers can concentrate on the road.
- Are short adults at risk with airbags just like children? -- In general, no. As long as adults are correctly belted and at least 10 inches from the steering wheel the airbag will be fully inflated before they hit it.
Alcohol-Related Crashes and Children
In 2005, a total of 414 (21%) of the fatalities among children age 14 and younger occurred in crashes involving alcohol.
Of those 414 fatalities, over half (224) were passengers in vehicles with drivers who had been drinking, with blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels of .01 gram per deciliter (g/dL) or higher.
An additional 96 children were killed as passengers in vehicles with drivers who had not been drinking.
Another 48 children age 14 and younger who were killed in traffic crashes in 2005 were pedestrians or cyclists who were struck by drinking drivers (BAC .01 g/dL or higher).
Too many ATV riders -- young and old -- are dying or experiencing life altering injuries from incidents involving ATVs.
An estimated 740 people died in 2003* in incidents associated with ATVs. In addition, in 2004* there were an estimated 136,100 emergency room treated injuries associated with ATVs. About a third of all deaths and injuries involved victims under 16 years old. CPSC also reported that ridership has continued to grow, with 6.2 million 4-wheeled ATVs in use in 2003*.
The major ATV manufacturers agreed in Consent Decrees in 1988 and in subsequent voluntary action plans that they would not manufacture three-wheel ATVs; they would place engine size restrictions on ATVs sold for use by children under 16; and they would offer driver-training programs.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends that all ATV riders follow the seven safety tips below every time they ride.
- Children and young people under the age of 16 should not ride adult ATVs.
- All ATV users should take a hands-on safety training course.
- Always wear a helmet and safety gear such as boots and gloves while on an ATV.
- Never drive an ATV on paved roads.
- Never drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Never drive a youth or single-rider adult ATV with a passenger, and never ride these vehicles as a passenger.
- There are some ATVs that are designed for two riders. Passengers on tandem ATVs should be at least 12 years old.
Child Passenger Safety
Children's Booster Seat Safety
Children need booster seats for much longer than most parents realize! Family Safety Advocate, Jacquie Palisi advises parents when and how to graduate children from a child safety seat to a booster. Plus our downloadable guide will help you determine when your child is ready to wear seat belts alone.
Motor vehicle injuries are the leading cause of death among children in the U.S. But many of these deaths can be prevented. Placing children in age- and size-appropriate restraint systems reduces serious and fatal injuries by more than half.
Occurrence and Consequences
- In the United States during 2005, 1,451 children ages 14 years and younger died as occupants in motor vehicle crashes, and approximately 203,000 were injured. That's an average of 4 deaths and 556 injuries each day.
- Of the children ages 0 to 14 years who were killed in motor vehicle crashes during 2005, nearly half were unrestrained.
- One out of four of all occupant deaths among children ages 0 to 14 years involve a drinking driver. More than two-thirds of these fatally injured children were riding with a drinking driver.
- Restraint use among young children often depends upon the driver's restraint use. Almost 40% of children riding with unbelted drivers were themselves unrestrained.
- Child restraint systems are often used incorrectly. One study found that 72% of nearly 3,500 observed child restraint systems were misused in a way that could be expected to increase a child's risk of injury during a crash.
- Child safety seats reduce the risk of death in passenger cars by 71% for infants, and by 54% for toddlers ages 1 to 4 years.
- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends booster seats for children until they are at least 8 years of age or 4'9" tall.
- For children 4 to 7 years, booster seats reduce injury risk by 59% compared to safety belts alone.
- All children ages 12 years and younger should ride in the back seat. This eliminates the injury risk of deployed front passenger-side airbags and places children in the safest part of the vehicle in the event of a crash. Overall, for children less than 16 years, riding in the back seat is associated with a 40% reduction in the risk of serious injury. Appropriately restrained children ages 13 to 15 who sit in the front seat are not at increased risk for injury.
Child Safety Seats
Children's Car Seat Safety
Montlick & Associates' Family Safety Advocate, Jacquie Palisi advises parents on how to help keep kids safe by properly securing them in a car safety seat appropriate for their age and size.
Child Safety Seats Save Lives
- According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), approximately 7,000 lives have been saved by the proper use of child restraints during the past 20 years.
- Research shows the best protection for children is to have them properly restrained.
- Child seats reduce the likelihood of an infant (under 1 year old) being killed in a vehicle crash by 71 percent and toddlers (1-4 years old) by 54 percent.
- Children ages 4 to 7 who use booster seats are 59 percent less likely to be injured in a car crash than children who are restrained only by a seat belt, according to a study by Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP).
- While 98 percent of America's infants and 89 percent of children ages 1 to 3 are now regularly restrained, not enough children ages 4 through 7 are restrained properly for their size and age. Restraint use among 4-7 year olds is 78 percent.
- The National Survey of the Use of Booster Seats (NSUBS) found that only 41 percent of children ages 4 to 8 are riding in booster seats; NHTSA recommends that children who have outgrown their child safety seats should ride in booster seats until they are at least eight years old, unless they are 4'9" tall.
- Child restraints work best if you use them correctly. Failure to read the child safety seat instructions, in addition to vehicle owner manual instructions regarding installation, could result in serious injury or death as a result of a failure of the child safety seat to be securely and/or properly restrained
- All 50 states and the District of Columbia have laws requiring children to be restrained in cars. Make sure you know the laws of your state and make it the law of your car.
Child Restraint Tips
4 Steps for Kids
- For the best possible protection keep infants in the back seat, in rear-facing child safety seats, as long as possible up to the height or weight limit of the particular seat. At a minimum, keep infants rear-facing until a minimum of age 1 and at least 20 pounds.
- When children outgrow their rear-facing seats (at a minimum age 1 and at least 20 pounds) they should ride in forward-facing child safety seats, in the back seat, until they reach the upper weight or height limit of the particular seat (usually around age 4 and 40 pounds).
- Once children outgrow their forward-facing seats (usually around age 4 and 40 pounds), they should ride in booster seats, in the back seat, until the vehicle seat belts fit properly. Seat belts fit properly when the lap belt lays across the upper thighs and the shoulder belt fits across the chest (usually at age 8 or when they are 4'9" tall).
- When children outgrow their booster seats, (usually at age 8 or when they are 4'9" tall) they can use the adult seat belt in the back seat, if it fits properly (lap belt lays across the upper thighs and the shoulder belt fits across the chest).
Motor vehicle-related Injuries
In 1999, more than 3 million Americans were injured and more than 42,000 were killed in motor vehicle crashes. Every fifteen minutes, someone dies in a motor-vehicle crash.
- Of those who died, 5,586 were teens and 2,055 were children; nearly 8,000 were 65 and older.
- More than half of the people involved in fatal crashes were not wearing seat belts.
- For children ages 1 to 4, motor vehicle injuries are the leading cause of death.
- Nearly half of children 4 and younger who died in motor vehicle crashes were riding unrestrained.
- For children ages 5 to 14, motor vehicle injuries are the leading cause of death.
- In the U.S., an average of 16 children ages 5 through 18 were killed and 1,814 were injured every day in motor vehicle crashes during 1999.
- The risk of motor vehicle crashes is higher among teen drivers than any other age group.
- Only 35% of high school students report that they always wear their seat belt.
Motor Vehicle Alcohol-related Injuries
- Impaired driving is one of America's most-often-committed and deadliest crimes.
- In 2005, 12,945 crash fatalities involved a driver or motorcycle operator with a BAC of .08 or higher, amounting to approximately one fatality every 41 minutes.
- In 2005, of the 8,524 passenger vehicle drivers in the age group of 18-34 years killed in crashes, 4,218 (49%) had a BAC of .01 or higher. Of these, 450 (5%) had a BAC of .01-.07, and 3,768 (44%) had a BAC of .08 or higher.
- Drunk driving fatalities across the nation declined slightly in 2003, remained almost the same in 2004 and declined slightly again in 2005.
- Far too many people still don't understand that alcohol, drugs and driving don't mix. Impaired driving is no accident-nor is it a victimless crime.
Alcohol and Fatal Motorcycle Crashes
- Alcohol affects those skills essential to operating a motorcycle-balance and coordination. So it plays a particularly big role in motorcycle fatalities.
- In 2005, 27 percent of all fatally injured motorcycle operators had BAC levels of .08 or higher. An additional 7 percent had lower alcohol levels (BAC .01 to .07).
- Forty-one percent of the 1,878 motorcycle operators who died in single-vehicle crashes in 2005 had BAC levels of .08 or higher.
- The age groups 30 to 39 and 40 to 49 are those with the highest rates of alcohol involvement for motorcycle operators killed in fatal crashes.
Impaired Driving Creates Serious Consequences
- Drunk driving is a serious crime.
- Driving with a BAC of .08 or higher is illegal in every state.
- The tragedies and costs from driving impaired do not just end at the potential death, disfigurement, disability and injury caused by impaired drivers.
- Driving or riding a motorcycle while impaired is not worth the risk. The consequences are serious and real. Not only do you risk killing yourself or someone else, but the trauma and financial costs of a crash or an arrest for driving while impaired can be significant.
- Violators often face jail time, the loss of their driver's license, higher insurance rates, and dozens of other unanticipated expenses from attorney fees, other fines and court costs, car towing and repairs, lost time at work, etc.
- Refuse a sobriety test in many jurisdictions and you can lose your license on the spot and have your car impounded.
- Plus, offenders risk added embarrassment, humiliation and other potential losses and consequences after informing family, friends and employers.
Fortunately, much of the tragedy that comes from impaired driving crashes could be prevented if everyone would take these few simple precautions:
- If you are planning to drink alcohol with friends, designate a sober driver before going out and give that person your keys;
- If you're impaired, call a taxi, use mass transit or call a sober friend or family member to get you home safely;
- Promptly report drunk drivers you see on the roadways to law enforcement;
- Wear your seat belt while in a car or use a helmet and protective gear when on a motorcycle as these are your best defenses against an impaired driver;
- And remember, if you know someone who is about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.
Important Safety Tips for Motorcycle Riders
In the second of a two-part series, Montlick & Associates' Family Safety Advocate Jacquie Palisi returns to ABC News to discuss the Governor's Office of Highway Safety (GOHS) Look Twice Save a Life campaign, and to share important safety tips for motorcyclists. Watch our latest video here and click on the links below to access additional information and statistics from the Georgia GOHS and the Motorcycle Safety Foundation.
Motorcycle fatalities have increased for eight straight years. In 2005, 4,553 motorcycle riders died, which represents a13-percent increase over 2004, during which 4,028 motorcycle riders died.
The 2006 NOPUS survey, a probability-based observational survey of motorcycle helmet use in the United States, found that 14 percent of motorcycle riders use helmets that do not comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No.218, Motorcycle Helmets. These helmets were identified by their lack of coverage or thickness.
Despite the scientific evidence showing that helmets that meet or exceed the minimum requirements of FMVSS No. 218 reduce deaths and injuries to motorcycle riders, many Americans choose to wear uncertified helmets, often called novelty helmets.
Over the past 10 years, 844 children under the age of 16 were killed and 2,864 were injured at railroad crossings and on railroad property, such as tracks, yards, and equipment.
- During 1999, 78 young people ages 6 through 20 were killed and another 98 were injured while trespassing on railroad property.
- Every 115 minutes, either a person or vehicle is hit by a train.
- Nearly half of all collisions at railroad crossings occur where automatic warning devices such as flashing lights or flashing lights with gates are present and are functioning properly.
Many children believe they will hear an oncoming train or that a train will be able to stop in time; however, if a 150-car freight train is traveling 50 miles per hour, it will take over a mile to stop.
Teach children to Stop, Look and Listen for trains before crossing railroad tracks and to never play on or near the tracks.
Courtroom Statistics Confirm That Seat Belts Do Save Lives!
The Honorable Judge Gary E. Jackson of the Atlanta Georgia Municipal Court joins Montlick & Associates' Family Safety Advocate, Jacquie Palisi and reveals some startling courtroom statistics involving drivers whose vehicles are totaled and who walk away from very serious car accidents injury free. View the video to hear Judge Jackson's first-hand account that seat belts do save lives. Click on the links below to download a copy of the firm's latest safe driver pledge form and to learn more about Georgia's Seat Belt Law from the Governor's Office of Highway Safety in Georgia (GOHS).
Did you know that seat belts are the MOST effective means of reducing fatalities and serious injuries in a traffic crash according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration? It's true. In fact, seat belts save over 10,000 lives in America every year.
The sad fact is that yearly, thousands of people still die in traffic crashes. When a vehicle is involved in a crash, passengers are still traveling at the vehicles original speed at the moment of impact. When the vehicle finally comes to a complete stop, unbelted passengers slam into the steering wheel, windshield or other part of the vehicle's interior.
Seat belts are your best protection in a crash. They are designed so that the forces in a crash are absorbed by the strongest area of your body -- the bones of your hips, shoulders and chest. They keep you in place so that your head, face and chest are less likely to strike the windshield, dashboard, other vehicle interiors or other passengers. They also keep you from being thrown out of a vehicle.
The Top 4 Reasons Why You Should Wear Your Seat Belt:
- Seat belts can save your life in a crash.
- Seat belts can reduce your risk of a serious injury in a crash.
- Thousands of the people who die in car crashes each year might still be alive if they had been wearing their seat belts.
- It's easy. It only takes three seconds.
What's the right way to wear your safety belt?
Correct: The lap belt or lap portion of the lap/shoulder belt should be adjusted so it is low and snug across the pelvis/lap area. NEVER ACROSS THE STOMACH.
Incorrect: The seatbelt is strapped across the stomach where the belt itself could cause internal damage in a crash.
Correct: The shoulder belt should cross the chest and collarbone and be snug. The belt should never cross the front of the face OR be placed behind your back.
Incorrect: The shoulder belt should never be place behind your back or under your arm.
The adult lap and shoulder belt will fit you properly when, you can sit with your back against the vehicle seatback cushion, with knees bent over the vehicle seat edge and feet on the floor - or when you are about 4'8" tall and weigh about 80 pounds. If the lap and shoulder belt do not fit you right now, you should be using a belt-positioning booster seat! A booster seat raises your sitting height, which enables the lap and shoulder belt to fit you properly.
How Seat Belts Stop You in a Crash
One tenth of a second after impact the motor vehicle comes to a stop, and then the unbelted occupant slams into the car's interior. Immediately after the unbelted occupant stops moving, his internal organs collide with other organs and skeletal systems. To allow the occupant to come to a more gradual stop, all the stopping distance must be used. Holding you in your seat with a safety belt allows you to stop as the car is stopping, thereby enabling you to "ride-down" the crash.
During a crash, safety belts distribute the forces of rapid deceleration over larger and stronger parts of the body such as the chest, hips and shoulders. Additionally, the safety belt actually stretches slightly to slow down and to increase its stopping distance. The head, face and chest are also less likely to strike the steering wheel, windshield, dashboard or the car's interior frame.
People wearing safety belts are not thrown into another person or ejected from the vehicle.
Also, the safety belt helps belted drivers maintain control of the car by keeping them in the driver's seat. This increases the chance of preventing a second crash.
Seat Belts and Airbags
You still must buckle your seat belt even if you're riding in a car with an air bag. Air bags can cause injuries or even death when people are too close at time of deployment. Everyone should sit at least 10 inches away from where the air bag is stored. Young children who are riding in child safety seats or older children who are riding in booster seats should ride in the back seat, furthest away from an air bag. This is why children age 12 and under should always be properly buckled up in the back seat! Front seat driver and passenger side air bags only work in frontal crashes, so if your car is hit on the side or rolls over, the air bag will not protect you - ONLY your seat belt, when worn properly, can do that!
Using Seat Belts with Child Safety Seats
Securing newborns and toddlers in child safety seats is known to reduce chance of serious injury in a crash. ALL children under 12 should be buckled in their appropriate seat whether in the vehicle's back seat, or in a child safety seat IN THE BACK SEAT OF THE CAR. Newborns should be placed in rear-facing car seats in the back seat.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that each year about 110 people die while riding snowmobiles. The Commission estimates that about 13,400 hospital emergency room-treated injuries occur each year with snowmobiles. Approximately two-fifths or 40 percent of the reported deaths resulted from colliding with trees, wires, bridges, and other vehicles. Some deaths occurred when the snowmobile rolled to the side in a ditch or stream and pinned the operator under the vehicle. Deaths also have occurred when the snowmobile entered water, mostly when it was operating on ice and fell through.
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends the following safe snowmobiling rules for recreational snowmobiling:
- Never drive your snowmobile alone or on unfamiliar ground. Have someone ride along with you, so you can help each other in case of breakdown or accident.
- Drive only on established and marked trails or in specified use areas.
- Avoid waterways. Frozen lakes and rivers can be fatal. It is almost impossible to judge adequate ice coverage or depth.
- Avoid driving in bad weather. Check warnings for snow, ice, and wind chill conditions before starting.
- Watch the path ahead to avoid rocks, trees, fences (particularly barbed wire), ditches, and other obstacles.
- Slow down at the top of a hill. A cliff, snow bank, or other unforeseen hazard could be on the other side.
- Don't hurdle snow banks. You have control only when your skis are on the ground.
- Learn the snowmobile traffic laws and regulations for the area. Many states prohibit using snowmobiles on public roads. Some states have minimum age requirements for drivers.
- Be sensible about stopping at roads or railroad tracks. Signal your turns to other drivers. Avoid tailgating. Control speed according to conditions.
- Use extra caution if driving at night, because unseen obstacles could be fatal. Do not drive faster than your headlights will allow you to see. Do not open new trails after dark.
- Never drink while driving your snowmobile. Drinking and driving can prove fatal.
- Be sure the snowmobile is properly maintained in good operating condition. Some cases report that the throttle sticks, leading to loss of control. Snowmobiles manufactured before 1983 may not have a "throttle interruption device" designed to shut off the snowmobile in the event the throttle sticks.
Montlick & Associates and Safe America Driver Safety Partnership
As part of National Teen Driver Safety Week, Montlick & Associates' Family Safety Advocate, Jacquie Palisi announces a new partnership with the Safe America Foundation in support of their Safe Teen Driver Program. Click on the link below to learn more about our Driver Safety Events and Safe America Partnership.
In 2004, young drivers 16 to 20 made up about 6.3 percent (12.5 million) of the 199 million licensed drivers in the United States. These young drivers represent a 6.7 percent increase compared to the number of young drivers in 1995 (11.7 million).
In addition to the disproportionate harm that 16- to 20-year-old drivers experience from motor vehicle crashes, consider the following additional costs for young drivers and passengers:
- Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for young adults 16 to 20.
- Young adults 16 to 20 are more likely to be killed or injured in motor vehicle crashes than children 15 and under. In 2004, of the 6,994 children up to age 20 who were killed in crashes, 73 percent were 16 to 20; of the 663,206 injured from birth to age 20, 64 percent were 16- to 20-year-olds.
- Although young drivers make up about 6 percent of the total licensed driving population, almost 14 percent (7898) of all drivers involved in fatal crashes were young drivers 15 to 20 years old, and 18 percent (1,986,000) of all drivers involved in police-reported injury crashes were young drivers.
- During 2004, a young person died in a traffic crash an average of once an hour on weekends (6 p.m. Friday to 5:59 a.m. Monday) and nearly once every 2 hours during the week.
- In 2004, a total of 1,720 16- to 20-year-olds died when they were totally or partially ejected from a passenger vehicle.
- In 2004, the fatality rate (per 100,000 population) in motor vehicle crashes for 16- to 20-year-olds was more than twice the rate for all ages.
Facts About Safety Belt Use
- Sixty-two percent of the 5,135 young people 16 to 20 killed when riding in passenger vehicles in 2004 were not wearing safety belts.
- In 2004, 58 percent of the 3,160 drivers in the 16- to 20-year-old age group who were killed in passenger vehicle crashes were not wearing safety belts.
- Young drivers are less likely to use restraints if they have been drinking alcohol. In 2004, of the young drivers of passenger vehicles who had been drinking and were killed in crashes, 74 percent were unrestrained.
Facts About Motor-Vehicle-Related Deaths and Injuries
- In 2004, 16- to 20-year-old drivers had the highest fatality and injury rates per 100,000 licensed drivers. In fact, the fatality rate for young drivers (25.3 million vehicle miles traveled) was about three times the rate for drivers 25 to 64 years old (8.7 MVMT).
- In 2004, more than 46,000 16-to 20-year-olds experienced incapacitating injuries. This number represents about 18 percent of all (255,770) incapacitating injuries.
- In 2004, about 133,576 young adults experienced nonincapacitating injuries. This number represents almost 20 percent of all (660,384) people with nonincapacitating injuries.
- Despite a small improvement in safety belt use for 16- to 20-year-old drivers, the percentage of fatalities in which the driver was not wearing a safety belt has been 60 percent or higher for the past 10 years. Only in 2003 and 2004 did it drop below this, to 58 percent.
- Drivers 16 to 20 have the highest involvement rates for fatalities and injuries (per 100,000 licensed drivers) in passenger vehicle crashes. This is especially true for male drivers in this age group.
What Happens in a Car Crash
Prevent Accidents and Breakdowns with Simple Tire Safety
Family Safety Advocate, Jacquie Palisi shares important tire inspection tips to keep your vehicle and family safe on the road. Please download our detailed Tire Safety Guide to help prevent accidents and avoid breakdowns.
Have you ever wondered what happens inside a car when it crashes? The people at the Crash Test Lab do. They spend hour after hour measuring, testing and analyzing. They've found that in each car crash there are actually three collisions:
- The Car's Collision
- The Human Collision
- The Human Body's Collision
THE CAR COLLISION
During a crash, the car crashes to a stop. At 30 mph, a car hitting an object that is not moving will crumple in about two feet. As the car crushes, it absorbs some of the force of the collision.
THE HUMAN COLLISION
The second collision is the "human collision". At the moment of impact, passengers in the car are still traveling at the vehicles original speed. When the car comes to a complete stop the passengers continue to be hurled forward until they come in contact with some part of the automobile. For example, the steering wheel, the dashboard, the front window or back of the front seat. Humans in a crash can also cause serious injuries to other humans when they collide with each other. People in the front seat of a car are often hit by rear-seat passengers as they fly forward with incredible force.
THE INTERNAL COLLISION
In a crash, even after a human body comes to a complete stop, its internal organs are still moving. Suddenly, these internal organs slam into other organs or the skeletal system. This "internal collision" is what often causes serious injury or death.
Imagine what happens when someone's head collides with the windshield of a car. After the person stops moving the brain hits the inside of the skull. The result may be only a mild concussion or there could be permanent brain damage.
HOW TO PREVENT SERIOUS INJURIES IN A CRASH?
Wear your safety belt. It's been proven to work in the Crash Test Lab and outside on the road.
DID YOU KNOW?
Three out of four crashes happen within 25 miles of home, at speeds of 45 miles per hour or less.
About 40% of all fatal crashes occur on roads where the posted speed limit is 30 miles per hour or less.
Over the past decade 62,000 lives have been saved and over a million injuries prevented by seat belts.
Motor vehicle crashes cost American taxpayers over 100 billion dollars ever year. In a 30 mph crash, a 15 pound child can generate an impact force greater than 300 pounds!
Sources: The safety tips in this section were compiled from the following great internet resources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (http://www.cdc.gov/), National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/), U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (http://www.cpsc.gov), U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration (www.fhwa.dot.gov), Stop Impaired Driving (www.StopImpairedDriving.org)