Resolve to Start 2020 Safely

Source: iqoncept - 123RF

The National Safety Council (NSC) estimates 163 people may die on our roads this New Year’s Day holiday period.

Whether you’re on the job, driving that long-haul cross country, or taking time out to be with family and friends, this estimate doesn’t have to be a reality.

Plan ahead to #DriveSober or designate a sober driver. Put away the cell phone, follow speed limits, and always #BuckleUp, even in the back seat. https://injuryfacts.nsc.org/motor-vehicle/holidays/new-years-day/… #NTSBmwl #NewYearsEve

While dangerous road conditions definitely play a part in causing holiday car accidents, alcohol is another major causation. During the 2018 Christmas Day holiday period, 37 percent of fatal crashes involved alcohol. That rose to 39 percent during the New Year’s holiday period.

NSC recommends always wearing a seatbelt, and:

  • Designate a sober driver or arrange alternate transportation. Don’t forget that impairment begins with the first drink;
  • Understand how drugs, including opioids, affect your ability to drive safely. Visit nsc.org/rxpainkillers to learn more;
  • Avoid distracted driving, even hands-free;
  • Get plenty of sleep and take regular breaks to avoid fatigue;
  • Learn about your vehicle’s safety systems and how to use them at MyCarDoesWhat.org;
  • Check your vehicle for recalls at ChecktoProtect.org

In winter conditions, know your car’s capabilities:

My Car Does What? is a national campaign to help educate drivers about the safety features built into vehicles. Search for your car and find out what safety features are already built in.

Traction control is now standard on most new vehicles. This function helps your vehicle gain traction on snowy, icy or wet surfaces, particularly when accelerating from a stopped or slowed position, or when trying to make it up a slippery hill.

Anti-lock braking system (ABS) helps you steer in emergencies by restoring traction to your tires and is standard on most new vehicles as well. ABS may vibrate or pulse when engaged. This is normal. Continue to press and hold pressure to the brake pedal.

Remember, you are your car’s best safety feature. Take precautions to ensure you arrive safely at your destination. If you become stranded in an unfamiliar area, do not leave your car. Light flares in front and behind the car and make sure the exhaust pipe is not blocked by snow, mud or objects.

And finally, SUN News Report wishes all our readers a safe, successful, and Happy 2020!

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