Safe Summer

Be Safe This Summer

Memorial Day weekend marks the official start of the summer season. Along with cookouts and camping trips, it also marks the beginning of the deadliest time on Idaho’s roads. Historically, fatal crashes nearly double in the summer compared to the rest of the year, which is why the time between Memorial Day and Labor Day is called the ‘100 deadliest days.’ Officials say the three most common contributing factors in Idaho wrecks are aggressive, distracted and impaired driving. The overwhelming majority of our crashes (94 percent) are caused by human error.

Don’t let your summer memories turn into tragedy. Be sure to buckle up, wear a helmet, don’t talk or text while driving, stay rested, stay sober, be aware and obey the speed limit. The best way to survive a crash is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Our families and friends are counting on you to help keep Idaho roads safe this summer. 

Unfortunately, accidents do happen. And when they do, it is great to know that Portneuf Medical Center's Level II Trauma Center stands by ready to care for you and your loved ones. A highly skilled surgical team, alongside Portneuf Air Rescue and Portneuf Emergency Department work together everyday to save lives and make southeastern Idaho a better place to live. 

We hope you never have to step foot in our hospital during Idaho's '100 Deadliest Days'. Read our summer safety tips below to learn how to stay safe this summer.


In a matter of seconds, a water injury or death can occur. That's why it's important to stay aware and vigilant around water. Every day, in homes, hot tubs and pools, and at beaches, lakes and rivers, water accidents happen. The water safety tips below may help save your or a loved ones life this summer.

  • Don’t go in the water unless you know how to swim and don’t over estimate your abilities
  • Never leave your child alone; if you have to leave, take your child with you
  • Don’t underestimate the power of water; even rivers and lakes can have undertows
  • Don’t drink while swimming. About half of all male teen drownings are alcohol related


Training, awareness and caution can help both motorcyclist and motor vehicles avoid accidents. Below are some important motorcycle safety tips for your summer riding plans.

  • Take a motorcycle safety course such as Idaho STAR ( Riders who complete this course have a 79% reduced crash risk2.
  • More than 80% of motorcycle crashes result in injury or death
  • Drive defensively, especially at intersections, where half of all collisions occur4.
  • Assume you are invisible to other motorists and position yourself to be seen4.
  • Wear the appropriate safety equipment including helmets.


Idaho is currently above the US trend in both fatality rates and injuries in motor vehicle crashes and below the national average in seat belt usage. Help Idaho stay safe by following the safe driving tips below.

  • The two biggest causes of fatalities on the road are speeding and impaired driving
  • The three “D’s” of impaired driving; drunk. drugged, distracted
  • The effects of driving while intoxicated are well known. Driving while distracted or fatigued is just as dangerous
  • Studies indicate that simply talking on a cell phone while driving impairs the driver comparable to being intoxicated
  • Slower reaction times, reduced vigilance, and defects in information processing caused by fatigue can result in driving performance similar to someone legally intoxicated
  • 60% of teen crashes today are caused by distracted driving
  • Put your phone away while driving. If you need to make a call or text, pull over into a parking lot to do so safely
  • Idaho is falling behind. We are currently above the US trend in both fatality rates and injuries in motor vehicle crashes. Idaho is below the national average on seat belt use


We are fortunate to live in an area that offers several trails made for ATV's. While riding, it's important to stay safe and be smart. The following tips may help you to stay save while riding on ATV's this summer:

  • ATV tires are built for off-road use; riding on paved roads is the most common surface on which ATV deaths occur
  • Kids should not be allowed to ride adult ATVs
  • Only allow additional riders on ATV’s designed for multiple people
  • As with motorcycles, wear the appropriate safety equipment including helmets


The following are signs and symptoms of drowsy driving, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine:

  • Frequent yawning or difficulty keeping your eyes open
  • Nodding off or having trouble keeping your head up
  • Inability to remember driving the last few miles
  • Missing road signs or turns
  • Difficulty maintaining your speed
  • Drifting out of your lane

Summer is a great time for R&R (Rest & Relaxation), but it's not a time to relax while driving - especially for teenagers. Unfortunately, teenagers have the highest crash rate for any age group. Make sure your teens are practicing safe driving techniques while on the roads this summer.

  • An average of 260 teens are killed in car crashes each month during the summer, an increase of 26% compared with the other months of the year
  • 60% of teen crashes today are caused by distracted driving
  • Smart drivers don’t use smartphones! Turn your device off and put it in the glove box when you’re driving. If you really need to make a call or text, pull over into a parking lot to do so safely
  • Never ride with someone who uses a cellphone while driving. If they insist, offer to make their calls or texts for them
  • Make this your mobile device email signature: “Sent from my phone, but not while driving!"
  • On your voicemail message, say “I can’t take your call because I may be driving”
  • If you’re taking a prescription, check with your doctor or pharmacist to make sure it’s ok to drive
  • If you suspect a friend has just smoked marijuana, don’t let them get behind the wheel
  • Arrange for alternate transportation whenever there is a potentially impaired driver
  • Offer to be a designated driver