As summer approaches the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is reminding parents and caregivers that summer heat can make it especially dangerous to leave children in cars.
Prior agency research shows the risk of a serious injury or death during hot weather is heightened for children left alone in vehicles. Hyperthermia (heat-stroke) is the leading cause of non-crash vehicle deaths for children under the age of fourteen (14). NHTSA has found at least 27 documented deaths per year.
Never leave a child unattended in a vehicle. Do not let your children play in an unattended vehicle. Teach them that a vehicle is not a play area. Never leave infants or children in a parked vehicle, even if the windows are partially open or with the engine running and the air conditioning on. Make a habit of looking in the vehicle - front and back - before locking the door and walking away. Always lock vehicle doors and trunks and keep keys out of children's reach. If a child is missing, check the vehicle first, including the trunk.
For more information on Child Safety and steps on how to prevent Hyperthermia (heat-stroke) please click here.
Every year, thousands of children are tragically injured or killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes. In fact, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for children age 3 and older in the United States. Securing your children properly in age and size appropriate child safety seats — in the back seat of your vehicle — is the most effective thing you can do to protect them in the event of a crash. National Seat Check Week is September 19-25, 2010.
Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) Restraint System
LATCH consists of lower attachments on child seats and a set of tether anchors in the vehicle to hold the child seat in place without the use of the vehicle's seat belts. Click HERE for additional information.
For more information on Child Safety Restraints and how to properly install a car seat, please click here.
Breakthrough Research on Real-World Driver Behavior Released
In 2008, nearly 6,000 people died in crashes that involved distracted driving. Distracted driving applies to anything that takes your eyes off the road, your hands off the steering wheel, or interrupts your concentration while driving. Driver inattention is the leading factor in most crashes and near-crashes, according to a landmark research report released today by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA http://www.nhtsa.gov/) and the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI).
Nearly 80 percent of crashes and 65 percent of near-crashes involved some form of driver inattention within three seconds before the event. Primary causes of driver inattention are distracting activities, such as cell phone use, and drowsiness.
“This important research illustrates the potentially dire consequences that can occur while driving distracted or drowsy. It’s crucial that drivers always be alert when on the road,” said Jacqueline Glassman, acting administrator of NHTSA. Her remarks were made during a news conference today at VTTI in Blacksburg, VA.
The 100-Car Naturalistic Driving Study tracked the behavior of the drivers of 100 vehicles equipped with video and sensor devices for more than one year. During that time, the vehicles were driven nearly 2,000,000 miles, yielding 42,300 hours of data. The 241 drivers of the vehicles were involved in 82 crashes, 761 near crashes, and 8,295 critical incidents.
“The huge database developed through this breakthrough study is enormously valuable in helping us to understand—and prevent—motor vehicle crashes,” said Dr. Tom Dingus, director of VTTI.
The background and results of both studies are available here.
Aggressive driving has become a serious problem on our roadways. What is aggressive driving? Most of us know it when we see it, but NHTSA, after discussions with law enforcement and the judiciary, defines aggressive driving as occurring when "an individual commits a combination of moving traffic offenses so as to endanger other persons or property." We provide guides, planners and information to law enforcement professionals and prosecutors to assist in the reduction of aggressive driving. To learn more about how to stop aggressive driving click here.
Information contained on this page is taken from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website. http://www.nhtsa.gov/