Thursday, October 10, 2013

Today, October 10, is Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day

Today, October 10, we observe the annual Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day. According to a report released by the National Highway and Traffic Administration, there were approximately 33,000 traffic deaths in 2012 alone. When broken down, that 33,000 translates into 90 fatalities every single day - one death every 16 minutes.

The goal of this day is to raise awareness of the risks involved in unsafe driving behavior. It is also meant to encourage all drivers to strive for a full day without any traffic deaths.

All motorists can do things to help eliminate the unsafe driving behavior. First, it is vital that all distractions - such as talking on cell phones or texting - are eliminated. Motorists must drive defensively and always be attentive. One should never drive while drowsy or under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Here are some safety tips from the US DOT Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration campaign, "Share the Road Safely."


Car Drivers

  • Cutting in front can cut your life short! Avoid cutting in front of other vehicles as you may create an emergency braking situation for others around you, especially in heavy traffic.
  • Buckle your seat belt! ALWAYS!
  • Watch your blind spots and the "No Zones" around trucks and buses.
  • Inattentive drivers. While driving, please focus only on the road. If you need to attend to another matter while driving (cell phones, kids, application of cosmetics, etc.) safely pull over in a parking lot or rest stop.
  • Avoid aggressive drivers and driving aggressively. Speeding, running red lights and stop signs, making frequent lane changes and tailgating can create dangerous and potentially fatal situations on the road.
  • Avoid squeeze play. Be careful of trucks and buses making wide right turns. If you try to get in between the truck and the curb, you could be caught in a squeeze and suffer a serious accident.
  • Keep up with the maintenance on your vehicle! 
  • Never drink and drive!

Motorcycle Drivers

  • Watch the "No-Zones". Never hang out in a truck's blind spot or "No-Zone".
  • Always wear a helmet!
  • Drive to survive! Motorcycles are the smallest vehicles on the road and offer no protection in a crash. Be cautious, pay attention to the signals and brakes of other vehicles, especially trucks!
  • Check yourself and your bike. Conduct a safety inspection of your motorcycle before each ride and be sure to wear the proper protective gear.
  • Watch your speed!

Truck and Bus Drivers

  • Take care of yourself! The most important part of a moving truck or bus is the driver. Get plenty of rest before getting behind the wheel, eat well and stay fit!
  • Always maintain your vehicle
  • Be aware of your "No-Zone"! The "No-Zone" represents the danger areas, or blind spots, around trucks and buses where crashes are more likely to occur. Be vigilant in watching out for vehicles in the "No-Zone".
  • Slow down in work zones!
  • Always keep your distance - leave enough space between you and the vehicle in front of you.
  • Fasten your seat belt. Buckle up for safety and control.
  • Always drive defensively and AVOID aggressive drivers!
  • Work to help yourselves. Help stranded motorists, notify traffic safety agencies of crashes, unsafe road conditions and other situations that can lead to crashes.


  • Watch your walkways. Walk on sidewalks and in crosswalks whenever possible. Pay attention to walk signals and keep a safe distance when standing on corners.
  • Know your "No Zones". Be aware of blind spots around trucks, buses and cars when walking near and around them.
  • Stopping Distances. Use caution when crossing intersections and streets. You may think vehicles will stop for you, but they may not see you or even be able to stop. Never take a chance with a truck, even if the driver sees you, they may not be able to stop. Truck brakes and gears are notorious for sticking.
  • Make Yourself Visible. Wear bright or reflective clothing.
  • Watch our for wide loads. Trucks with wide loads may have very limited visibility as well as difficulty maneuvering.


  • Wear your helmet!
  • Bikers Beware. Always be aware of the traffic around you. Never assume that all drivers see you. Ride defensively.
  • Check your brakes and be prepared to stop.
  • Ride with traffic. Ride on the right side, with the flow of traffic.
Beware of the "No-Zone." Never sneak in between a truck or bus and the curb, or you could get crushed. Be aware that large trucks have blind spots in the front, back and on the sides, which make it difficult for the driver to see around them.

For more information about traffic safety tips and information, visit the website for Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day.

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