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For Immediate Release,
Kathy Lane
Communications Director
(630) 775-2307
2012 Fourth of July Traffic Fatality Estimates and safety tips
As people across the country pack up their cars and hit the road this Independence Day, it is important to note the risks of driving around a holiday.
This year, the National Safety Council estimates 173 traffic deaths will occur over the holiday period which extends from 6:00 p.m. Tuesday, July 3, to 11:59 p.m. Wednesday, July 4. Nonfatal medically consulted injuries, i.e. injuries serious enough that a medical professional was consulted, are estimated at 17,300.
Driving Safety:
As traffic on the roads increases during the summer months, keep in mind the safety tips below.
·         Refrain from using your cell phone while driving
·         Put your cell phone on silent or in the glove box to avoid temptation
·         Safely pull over and put the vehicle in Park to take or make a call
·         Always wear a safety belt – every trip, every time
·         Make sure every passenger is wearing his or her safety belt before you begin your drive
·         Children should sit in the back and use the proper child safety seat or booster seat
·         Never leave a child or pet unattended in a vehicle, especially during hot weather
·         If you plan to drink, designate a non-drinking driver – NHTSA has launched its Fourth of July Impaired Driving Prevention Campaign
·         If there is a young driver in your family, strictly enforce a zero tolerance policy with alcohol - all states have a 21-year-old drinking age law
·         Never get in the car with an intoxicated driver
·         Avoid aggressive driving by keeping your emotions in check and focusing on your own driving
·         Don’t tailgate or flash your lights at another driver
·         Listen to this podcast for tips on driving safely in the dark
In 2010, 8,600 fireworks-related injuries were treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms according to the National Fire Protection Association. The National Safety Council advises the best way to safely enjoy this 4th of July is to watch a public fireworks display conducted by professionals. However, if fireworks are legal where you live and you decide to use them, be sure to follow these important safety tips:
         Never allow young children to handle fireworks – older children should use fireworks only under close adult supervision
         Light fireworks one at a time, in a clear outdoor area away from onlookers, houses and flammable materials
         Do not aim fireworks at another individual and never place any part of your body over a firework
         Keep a bucket of water nearby to fully extinguish fireworks that don't go off or in case of fire, and do not try to re-light or handle malfunctioning fireworks
         If you are in an area experiencing drought-like conditions, reconsider using fireworks due to the increase in fire risk
In 2010, unintentional drowning claimed the lives of 3,600 people.
         When visiting a pool, water park or body of water this weekend, pay close attention to children at all times – a lifeguard may be present, but they should not be considered a babysitter
         Teach your children to never swim alone or dive into unknown bodies of water and to always use approved flotation devices
         Avoid using alcohol in and around the water – according to CDC, among adolescents and adults, alcohol use is involved in up to 70% of deaths associated with water recreation, almost a quarter of ED visits for drowning and about one in five reported boating deaths
Hot Weather:
Nice weather is ideal for celebrations but can present serious hazards, especially to children and the elderly.
         Heatstroke and heat exhaustion are serious, life-threatening illnesses characterized by an extreme rise in body temperature
         If you are concerned that someone is suffering from overheating, move them to the shade and call for emergency assistance, if necessary
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