National Safety Month: What do you live for?

June 16, 2015

What do you live for?  Is spending time with family and friends what motivates you to get out of bed every morning? Or maybe you thrive off the opportunity to explore new cities and countries. Whatever inspires you to get up and get moving every day, engaging in safe behaviors helps you live for the things you value most.

Every June, the National Safety Council (NSC) hosts National Safety Month. This year the NSC is emphasizing transportation safety.  

As you may imagine, hospitals see the scary results of reckless driving when victims of car accidents come through the emergency room doors. This summer, remember to be safe and alert in the car in order to stay out of the emergency room.

“As you hit the road this summer for vacation, or as you continue through your daily routine, we want you to remember that staying healthy goes far beyond the healthcare setting,” said Steve Erixon, chief executive officer of SageWest Health Care. “Staying healthy means making safe and smart lifestyle choices, be it choosing not to text and drive, choosing to exercise regularly or choosing not to smoke.”

Here are a few tips, courtesy of the NSC, that will help keep you and your family safer on the roads and also protect other drivers.

On the road, off the phone. Distracted driving causes an estimated 26 percent of all crashes each year. Before you hit the road, put your cell phone in a purse, trunk or glove compartment so you aren’t tempted to answer calls, send texts or check emails. When possible, designate a passenger to answer the phone if you are expecting a call. If you need to check email, voicemail or texts, pull over.

Get plenty of rest. According to the NSC, roughly 1,550 people are killed each year in crashes involving drowsy drivers. Do not get behind the wheel if you are tired or have taken medications that may cause drowsiness. To stay alert during your drive, take a nap before you leave or pull over and take a “power nap” if you start to feel sleepy.  If you are traveling with a companion, switch places every couple of hours and schedule breaks to get out and stretch your legs.

Protect new drivers. The NSC states that nearly half of all teens will be involved in a car crash before graduating from high school. Parents can significantly reduce their teens’ risk of crashing with a few simple steps:

  • Practice driving with your teenager. Find at least 30 minutes each week, and let your child practice with you in the car.
  • Have your teen sign a New Driver Deal, a short agreement that encourages him or her to adopt safe driving habits. The New Driver Deal can be downloaded at DriveitHOME.org.
  • Limit the number of passengers allowed in the car with your child and limit nighttime driving, as darkness lowers visibility and increases the risk of a crash.

To learn more about National Safety Council, visit www.nsc.org.