CDC Recommendations For Reducing Car Accident Injuries

June 22, 2017 Auto Accidents

2016 was the deadliest year on American roads in nearly a decade. Preliminary 2016 data from the National Safety Council estimates that as many as 40,000 people died in motor vehicle crashes last year. Year after year motor vehicle accidents take thousands of lives, and leave millions more injured. This is a serious public health issue we must address. The CDC has released a number of recommendations for reducing car accident injuries.

Always Wear Your Seat Belt

The CDC reports that more than half of teens (13-19 years) and adults aged (20-44 years) who died in crashes in 2014 were not wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash.

Wearing your seat belt is a the most effective way to prevent serious injury or death in the event of a car accident. Wearing a seat belt reduces the risk of dying or being badly injured by almost fifty percent.

Always Buckle Your Kid Up Properly – Child Seat Belts & Car Seats

Depending on the age and size of a child, he or she should always be properly strapped into a car seat, booster seat, or seat belt.

Make sure you buckle the harness of a car seat properly. The harness straps should go over your child’s shoulders, with the clip placed at armpit level (not lower, not over the stomach). Tighten the harness so that you can slip only one finger underneath the straps.

Keep your child in a car seat as long as possible. Once your child is over 40-pounds, use a booster seat to help position the seat belt properly over the child’s lap and shoulder. Use the booster seat until your child is tall enough to sit with feet flat on the floor board and weighs more than 80-pounds.

Help New Drivers Gain Experience

Inexperienced drivers are most at risk of being involved in a car accident. The risk is highest in the first year of obtaining a drivers license. The CDC recommends a compressive graduated driver licensing (GDL) system. GDL systems are designed to help new drivers gain experience in low-risk conditions. Nebraska uses a GDL licensing system. You can read about it here.

In its article Parents Are the Key to Safe Teen Drivers the CDC encourages parents to help enforce safe driving habits by using a parent-teen driving agreement. The driving agreement puts the rules in writing and clearly sets expectations and limits. It can also outline the consequences for breaking the rules.

Let’s work together to keep all of us safer on the roads! Please share these driving safety tips with your family and friends!

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