100 Deadliest Days – 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. Here are a few points on summer safety:

Water1

  • 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.

Motorcycles

  • Take a motorcycle safety course such as Idaho STAR (idahostar.org).  Riders who complete this course have a 79% reduced crash risk2.
  • More than 80% of motorcycle crashes result in injury or death3.
  • Drive defensively, especially at intersections, where half of all collisions occur4.
  • Assume you are invisible to other motorists and position yourself to be seen.  Assume you are invisible to other motorists and position yourself to be seen4.

Motor Vehicles

  • The two biggest causes of fatalities on the road are speed and impaired driving5.
  • The four “D’s” of impaired driving; drunk, drugged, drowsy, 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 intoxicated6.
  • Slower reaction times, reduced vigilance, and defects in information processing caused by fatigue can result in driving performance similar to someone legally intoxicated7.
  • Younger drivers, those under 30, account for about 2/3 of drowsy-driving crashes7.

ATV/UTVs8

  • 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.

 

References

  1. National Safety Council
  2. Idaho STAR
  3. NHTSA (https://one.nhtsa.gov/people/injury/pedbimot/motorcycle/safebike/anatomy.html)
  4. NSC (https://www.nsc.org/road-safety/safety-topics/motorcycle-safety)
  5. NSC (https://www.nsc.org/road-safety)
  6. “FATAL DISTRACTION? A COMPARISON OF THE CELL-PHONE DRIVER AND THE DRUNK DRIVER” Strayer, et.al. (http://ir.uiowa.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1085&context=drivingassessment)
  7. NHTSA (https://one.nhtsa.gov/people/injury/drowsy_driving1/human/Drowsy.html)
  8. CPSC (https://onsafety.cpsc.gov/blog/2018/05/18/cpsc-infographic-atv-deaths-injuries/)
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