By BIA-MA Manager of Prevention and Court-related Programs BJ Williams
No matter how good we believe we are at driving, bad habits are easy to pick up. Whether you’re in a rush to get to work, multitasking or focusing on the radio station rather than driving, taking your eyes off the road for even a second can put yourself and others in danger.
Make 2013 the year of change and put an end to dangerous driving behaviors. Let’s be positive and start making changes today!
I resolve to:
1. Always buckle up. Seat belts save over 12,000 lives a year by protecting passengers from hitting hard vehicle surfaces, other passengers or being ejected from the vehicle in a crash. Seatbelts are 99.9% effective at keeping you inside the car during a crash.
2. Not use my cell phone behind the wheel. In 2011, 25% of drivers in the United States reported that they talk on their cell phones while driving “regularly or fairly often.” Additionally, 9% of drivers in the United States reported texting or e-mailing “regularly or fairly often” while driving. Instead, focus on the road and put the phone down or pull over to use it!
3. Never drink and drive! Over 10,000 people die in drunk-driving car crashes each year. In 2010, 211 children were killed in drunk-driving crashes. Out of those 211 deaths, 131 or 62% were riding with the drunk driver. If you plan on drinking, make sure you have a designated driver or call a cab to get home.
4. Yield to pedestrians and bicyclists! Pedestrians make up 12% of all motor vehicle deaths each year and bicyclists make up about 2%. Drivers need to be especially diligent around crosswalks and remember to look both ways for bicyclists even on one-way streets.
5. Maintain my vehicle and tires! Performing regular tire checks and routine maintenance will help to ensure your vehicle stays in optimal condition. You should take at least five minutes each month to check your tires. This is a measure that can effectively protect you and decrease the number of avoidable breakdowns and crashes.