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Avoid Heatstroke in a Hot Car

Wood County Safe Communities announced today that there have been 7 fatal crashes in Wood County for calendar year 2017, compared to 4 for the same time frame in 2016.

Outside of crashes, heatstroke is the number one vehicle-related killer of children in the United States. In fact, in 2016, there were 39 preventable deaths of children in vehicles, a 63% increase from 2015.

Simple steps for caregivers to prevent heatstroke:

  • NEVER leave a child in a vehicle unattended. Even for a minute.
  • Make it a habit to look in the back seat when exiting the car – EVERY time.
  • ALWAYS lock the care and put the keys out of reach of children.

Simple steps for bystanders to prevent heatstroke:

  • Make sure the child is okay and responsive. If not, call 911 immediately.
  • If the child appears to be okay, attempt to locate the parents or have the facility’s security or management page the car owner over the PA system.
  • If there is someone with you, have one person actively search for the parent while the other waits at the car.
  • If the child is not responsive or appears to be in distress, attempt to get into the car to assist the child – even if that means breaking a window.

A child’s body temperature can rise up to five times faster than an adult, and heatstroke can occur with outside temperatures as low as 57 degrees. On an 80-degree day, a car can reach a deadly heat level in just about 10 minutes.

Look Before You Lock!

For More Information:

  • Angel Burgos, Ohio State Highway Patrol: 419-352-2481
  • Sandy Wiechman, Safe Communities Coordinator:
    419-372-9353 or swiechm@bgsu.edu

Keep Our Motorcyclists Alive

 

share the road-web

Motorists can help make the roads safer for motorcyclists by taking some simple precautions.

  • Typically, motorcyclists are more inclined to take to the road on weekends, meaning it is even more important to stay alert and be extra cautious.
  • Allow ample space for the motorcyclist to maneuver and react if necessary; always follow three or more seconds behind.
  • Never attempt to share the lane with a motorcycle.
  • Motorcycles can be heard to see; look for them by double checking your mirrors and blind spots before switching to another lane of traffic.
  • Always signal before changing lanes or merging with traffic; this allows motorcyclists time to anticipate your movement and find a safe lane position.
  • If a turn signal is on, wait to be sure the rider is going to turn before you proceed; it may not be self-canceling and the motorcyclist may have forgotten to turn it off.

Remember, safety is a shared responsibility –– do your part.

To learn more traffic safety tips visit the Safe Communities website.

Stay in Control: Avoid Potentially Fatal Risks

Distracted driving is always a problem, but combining motorcyclists and distracted drivers can be fatal. While riding a motorcycle, it is critical to stay aware and vigilant of your surroundings always. Motorcycles can quickly get caught in a motorist’s blind spot because they are smaller than most vehicles. Since they may be hard to see, it is even more important to stay alert and look twice.

Distracted driving also poses a serious threat to motorcyclists. Reaction time is delayed a few seconds when texting and driving or messing with anything in the vehicle. This delayed reaction contributes to a larger risk of fatal collision with a motorcycle.

Motorcyclists also increase the risk of a fatal collision when they take their hands off the motorcycle handlebars. According to Seeker Digital Network, taking your hands off the handlebars reduces your control over the motorcycle more than if you took your hands off a car’s steering wheel; steering, braking, accelerating, and shifting are all comprised

There are many suggestions to decrease the risk of fatal motorcycle collisions. One method is to complete a motorcycle safety course. Wood County and the state of Ohio do not require extra safety courses for motorcyclists, but Safe Communities of Wood County highly recommends taking one. The course will teach you about the state traffic safety laws that apply to motorcycles, how to avoid unsafe situations, and how to respond to emergency situations on a motorcycle. Course instructors will also provide tips on motorcycle maintenance. You will even have a chance to try out your new skills in a controlled environment. For registration and more information: http://www.motorcycle.ohio.gov/.

Finally, we recommend always watching the weather for adverse driving conditions and wearing the proper protection gear at all times.

To learn more traffic safety tips visit the Safe Communities website.

Seat Belt Safety – Click it or Ticket

Wood County Safe Communities announced today that there have been six fatal crashes in Wood County for calendar year 2017, compared to four for the same time frame in 2016.

During a crash, being buckled up helps keep you safe and secure inside your vehicle, whereas being completely thrown out of your vehicle almost always leads to injury. Seat belts are the best defense against impaired, aggressive, and distracted drivers.

In 2015, the use of seat belts in passenger vehicles saved an estimated 13,941 lives of occupants ages 5 and older. The Click It or Ticket campaign focuses on safety education, strong laws, and law enforcement officers saving lives.

Though some believe airbags can replace seat belts in the event of an accident, the force of being thrown into a rapidly opening airbag could injure or even kill. Airbags were designed to work in conjunction with seat belts to maximize safety efforts. Your pelvis and rib cage are more able to withstand crash force than other parts of your body, which is why it’s important to secure your seat belt over these areas. If impact should occur, these areas will be able to take more of the pressure from seat belts and airbags to protect the rest of the body.

There are several steps you can take to get the best seat belt fit for your safety. When buying a car, test the belts provided to see if they are a good fit for you. You can talk to your car dealer about options for seat belt adjusters and extenders if necessary. For those with older vehicles, your seat belt may be outdated for current standards. Check with the vehicle manufacturer to determine the best option for you.

Click it or Ticket!

For More Information:

  • Angel Burgos, Ohio State Highway Patrol: 419-352-2481
  • Sandy Wiechman, Safe Communities Coordinator: 419-372-9353 or swiechm@bgsu.edu

Distractions Now Join Alcohol and Speeding as Leading Factors in Fatal and Serious Injury Crashes

Multitasking Impairs Performance

We can safely walk while chewing gum in a city crowded with motor vehicles and other hazards. That is because one of those tasks – chewing gum – is not a cognitively demanding task.

People do not perform as well when trying to perform two attention-demanding tasks at the same time. Research shows even pedestrians don’t effectively monitor their environment for safety while talking on cell phones. The challenge is managing two tasks demanding our cognitive attention.

Certainly most would agree that driving a vehicle involves a more complex set of tasks than walking. The brain is behind all tasks needed for driving: visual, auditory, manual and cognitive. Recent developments in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) now allow researchers to see the brain’s reactions to specific challenges and tasks.

What are possible prevention steps?

Eliminating driver distraction due to cell phone use faces significant challenges, even headIcon_v2_combo3_iconsbeyond combating drivers’ desire to be connected and productive. Drivers can
help avoid this by informing frequent callers that they will not participate in phone conversations while driving. When facing multiple demands for their cognitive attention, drivers may not be aware they are missing critical visual information, and they may not be aware of the full impact of that oversight. This lack of awareness of the distraction could prolong it. Widespread education is needed about the risks of hands-free devices, conversation and cognitive distraction.

But even when people are aware of the risks, they tend to believe they are more skilled than other drivers, and many still engage in driving behaviors they know are potentially dangerous. Prevention strategies should consider how people behave in reality, not only how they should behave. We know from other traffic safety issues – impaired driving, safety belts, speeding – that consistent enforcement of laws is the single most important effective strategy in changing behavior. Therefore, prevention strategies that may show the most promise are legislative and corporate policies, coupled with high-visibility enforcement and strict consequences. Technology solutions can go even further by preventing calls and messages from being sent or received by drivers in moving vehicles. To provide safety benefits and provide a positive influence on reducing crashes, injuries and deaths, these efforts – including education, policies, laws and technology – must address the prevention of both handheld and hands-free cell phone use by drivers.

Information From: http://www.nsc.org/DistractedDrivingDocuments/Cognitive-Distraction-White-Paper.pdf

To learn more traffic safety tips visit the Safe Communities Website.

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