Motor vehicle crashes are the top cause of mortality in the United States for those aged 154 and up, with around 36,100 people died in crashes in 2019. 2 Despite individuals driving less, early predictions show that collision mortality would rise to 38,680 in 2020, a 7 percent increase. 3
Deaths and injuries in car accidents can be avoided. To assist everyone stay safe on the road this holiday season, always buckle up, drive at a moderate speed, and never drive while inebriated.
Learn how to stay safe in the following situations:
1. All motorists
2. Passengers with children
3. Drivers under the age of 18
4. Adults over the age of 25
Tips (1). All motorists
Don’t drive if you’re under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and don’t let your family or friends drive while they’re inebriated.
In 2019, more than 10,100 people died in car accidents as a result of drunk driving. 4 Any form of legal or illegal drug, not simply alcohol, can raise the chance of a crash.
To safeguard yourself and others on the road, designate a sober driver, call a taxi, or utilize a ride-sharing service if you drink alcohol or take drugs.
Avoid distractions while driving, such as texting, emailing, or accessing social media on your phone.
For at least five seconds, sending or reading a text takes your attention off the road. That’s like driving the length of a football fieldexternal icon with your eyes closed at 55 miles per hour.
Driving safely necessitates your undivided attention.Before you get on the road, check the weather forecast.
Make sure you’re driving at a safe pace for the road and weather circumstances.
Tip (2). Passengers with children
Motor vehicle crashes are the largest cause of mortality among children1, but you can help by making sure your children are correctly strapped at all times.
Stay safe this holiday season by protecting yourself and your children.Use age- and size-appropriate car seats, booster seats, and seat belts to lower the risk of serious injury or death in a car accident by up to 80%.
When car seats and booster seats are used appropriately, children are the safest. Learn how to properly buckle children in their seats and how to avoid the most common blunders.
Under a car seat harness, bulky/puffy coats should be avoided. It’s tough to correctly adjust a car seat harness when you’re wearing bulky apparel.
A sloppy harness might cause significant injury or even ejection from the car seat in the event of a collision.Instead, securely buckle the harness first, then cover the belted youngster with a coat or blanket.
This won’t get in the way of the harness and will keep the infant warm. For further information, go to the American Academy of Pediatrics’ (AAP) website for parents’ Winter Car Seat Safety Tips pageexternal symbol.
Children under the age of 12 must be properly strapped in the back seat of the vehicle.Always use a seat belt yourself.
Tips (3). Drivers under the age of 18
Take advantage of the CDC’s safe teen driving resources if you have a teen driver in your family.
Did you know that inexperienced drivers, driving with teen passengers, nighttime driving, and not wearing seat belts are the major causes of teen collisions and injuries?
Talk to your teen about the rules of the road. Consider drafting a Parent-Teen Driving Agreement that spells out the ground rules and establishes clear boundaries and expectations.
Know the laws in your stateexternal icon. All states have graduated driver licensing (GDL) programs, which allow teenagers to get driving experience in lower-risk situations.
While your teen is not in school, get some supervised driving time in with them during the holidays.
Driving under your supervision in various types of weather can help your kid gain valuable driving experience in a variety of situations (when the weather is not too severe or dangerous).
Require your teen to wear a seatbelt in every seat and on every trip.
Do the same to set a positive example. In a crash, wearing a seat belt reduces the risk of death or serious injury by nearly half.
Tips(4). Adults over the age of 25
Driving allows seniors to remain mobile and self-sufficient. However, as people get older, their chances of being wounded or killed in a car accident grow.
There are precautions you can take to keep safe on the road if you are an older driver, thankfully.
Request a review of your medications, both prescription and over-the-counter, with your doctor or pharmacist to minimize side effects and interactions that could impair your ability to drive safely.
At least once a year, have your eyes examined by an eye doctor. As recommended, put on your spectacles and corrective lenses.
Before you get behind the wheel, make a route plan.Locate the safest route, which includes well-lit streets, intersections with left-turn signals, and ample parking.
For more information and tools on how to build a plan to be mobile and independent as you age, download and utilize the CDC’s MyMobility Plan.
Take steps now to avoid or mitigate the effects of potential mobility changes.