Time Change Safety Messages: Don’t put your feet on the dashboard & Be Safe/Be Bright

How much impact could a nationwide network of Traffic Safety/Vision Zero community groups have on the death toll of vehicle violence? How could a National Traffic Safety Ombudsman be instrumental in bringing this about?

I continue to hear about safety factors which need to be brought to the attention of everyone. But probably won’t be without this kind of national focus and advocacy effort. . .

Just heard about these two today:

  1. Don’t put your feet on the dashboardA deployed airbag inflates at about 320 km/h, and you don’t want your legs to be in the way when it does (Check out the photo of the car in this crash which collided with the rear of a tractor-trailer; was underride involved?) Not to mention the importance of emergency medical services in detecting internal injuries in passengers protected by air bags. Invisible disabilities can result.
  2. The color of your car and your clothes (when a pedestrian) could impact your safetyYears ago the Federal Highway Administration published a poster for the public with the statistic that 60% of pedestrian fatalities occur between the hours of 6:00pm and 6:00am. The “Be Safe, Be Bright” poster shows distances at which pedestrians can be seen wearing clothing of different colors – and retro reflective materials.

Dear Care for Crash Victims Community Members:

You can increase your safety by 10%.

In 1961, my wife was in a white VW Beetle. She stalled coming out of a shopping center at night and was struck on the driver side by a car coming over a hill. The driver swerved to the right and struck the VW just behind the driver side door. Luckily, my wife was not physically injured but she was badly shaken. I had picked white as the color because it would be cooler (no air conditioning). I was not thinking safety back then.

During all my years working on safety I could not get NHTSA to do analyses on fatality rates by car color. Only after I left NHTSA did researchers in Australia do such research and found that white cars were 10% safer. See https://www.careforcrashvictims.com/blog-daylaightsavings.php

In 2015, I was pleased to learn that white had become the most popular car color on the planet. See https://www.careforcrashvictims.com/blog-whitecarsnews.php

For the year 2015, no one can be pleased to learn that NHTSA recorded:

* The Nation saw 2,348 more fatalities from motor vehicle crashes in 2015 than in 2014—a 7.2-percent increase.

For pedestrians and cyclists color is also important for safety.

* Pedestrian fatalities increased by 466 (a 9.5-percent increase) and are at their highest number since 1996.
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* Pedalcyclist fatalities increased by 89 (a 12.2-percent increase), and are at their highest level since 1995.

See https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/812318

Years ago the Federal Highway Administration published a poster for the public with the statistic that 60% of pedestrian fatalities occur between the hours of 6:00pm and 6:00am. The “Be Safe, Be Bright” poster shows distances at which pedestrians can be seen wearing clothing of different colors – and retro reflective materials. See

http://www.careforcrashvictims.com/besafe.php

Be brighter and be safer.

Lou Lombardo

11wjd2

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