Traffic Safety News – Safe Family Holiday

Feel the chill in the air? That means that the holidays are just beginning to warm up! Thousands of Delawareans will be hitting the road to visit family and friends and even do some holiday shopping. Thanksgiving marked the kickoff of the 2014 holiday season and OHS’s annual Safe Family Holiday Campaign!

What you need to know
OHS wants to remind motorists as they travel this holiday season to buckle up, be patient and slow down, and always use a designated driver. Here’s what you need to know:

• Since January 1st of this year, 114 people have lost their lives on Delaware roadways in 101 fatal traffic crashes, compared to 98 people killed in 93 fatal traffic crashes this time last year.
• Speeding has contributed to 41% of the fatal traffic crashes to date.
• Alcohol consumption has attributed to 47% of the traffic deaths.
• Forty three percent (43%) of vehicle occupants killed this year were not wearing their seat belts.

What you can do
Our goal is to keep families safe while travelling on Delaware roadways during this very special time of year. Awareness and enforcement are the cornerstones of our annual Safe Family Holiday campaign:

The DUI Tree project brings awareness of the number of alcohol-involved crashes between Thanksgiving and New Year. You can find DUI Trees at Beebe Hospital, Bayhealth Medical Center, and AI DuPont. Or, you can check out our virtual DUI Tree for weekly updates during the holiday season at www.duirealtime.com.

Holiday Mocktail events are planned statewide to encourage responsible party planning. Each event features a non-alcoholic party punch and smart party snacks. Take a peek at our Safe and Sober Party Guide for mocktail recipes and party planning tips. Mocktail books are always free of charge and available online at www.ohs.delaware.gov.

Be aware that enforcement is statewide and ongoing from now through the end of the year. Enforcement includes sobriety checkpoints and overtime patrols looking for speeding and impaired drivers, as well as anyone who is not properly secured in a seat belt. Remember to give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination, never drive impaired, and always buckle up.

From all of us here at the Office of Highway Safety, Have a Happy and Safe Holiday Season!

Drive Safe. Arrive Alive DE.


Traffic Safety News- Buckle Up. Slow Down.

With summer over and school back in session, the Delaware Office of Highway Safety (OHS) is reminding motorists to drive safe this fall and save a life by buckling up and slowing down on Delaware roadways.

What you need to know

Did you know that Delaware crash data for this year suggests that speed and improper seat belt use are major contributors in the number of fatalities this year? And the numbers are up. It’s mid-October, and the number of traffic deaths this year has already exceeded the total number of people killed last year on Delaware roadways.

From January 1 through October 17, there have been 102 traffic fatalities in Delaware.

  • Sixty seven (67) were vehicle occupants. 42% were not wearing a seat belt.
  • Aggressive driving behaviors, like speeding, contributed to 37% of the crashes to date this year.
  • In 2013, 40% of the unbelted crashes happened on a Saturday or Sunday.  Saturday is also the most common day for speed-related fatal crashes and Friday has the highest number of speed-related injury crashes.

What you can do

Even one life lost on our roadways is one too many. In an effort to prevent more deaths, OHS has put a new campaign in place that will focus on proper seat belt use and slowing down.

Campaign dates: October 3rd – 26th and November 26th – December 31st.

  • Enforcement:   Police will be looking for speeding drivers and anyone unrestrained or improperly restrained in vehicles. Remember, for a seat belt to be effective and save a life, it must be worn properly with the lap belt low and snug across the hips and the shoulder harness worn across the shoulder and chest with minimal slack.
  • Public outreach: OHS has launched a contest on the OHS Facebook page www.facebook.com/ArriveAliveDE to engage the public about buckling up and slowing down. There will be one puzzle per week during October and December with weekly prizes, including an AAA membership and a guided tour of Dover Air Force Base’s AMC Museum.

For more information, visit www.ohs.delaware.gov. Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/DEHighwaySafe and Facebook www.facebook.com/ArriveAliveDE.

 

Drive Safe. Arrive Alive DE.


Traffic Safety News- Is Your Child Riding Safe?

Did you know that 4 out of every 5 car seats are not installed properly? For caregivers, it’s not always easy to know how to correctly secure a child in a car seat, or how to fit the seat into the car. That’s why Delaware is joining the rest of the nation to promote awareness during National Child Passenger Safety Week, September 14-20.

What you need to know

Car crashes are a leading cause of death for children 1 to 13 years old. Many times deaths and injuries can be prevented by proper use of car seats, boosters, and seat belts. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shares these facts:

  • Every 34 seconds one child, under age 13, is involved in a crash.
  • In 2012, over one third (37%) of children killed in car crashes were not in car seats, booster seats, or seat belts.
  • 1/3 of kids aged 8-14 killed in crashes were riding in the front seat. All children under age 13 should ride in the back seat.

What you can do

To celebrate Child Passenger Safety Week, OHS is offering two opportunities statewide for families to get their car seats checked for free. Both are free and open to the public with no appointment needed. During these events, certified technicians will check your car seat and distribute important information on child passenger safety including tip sheets, how to register your car seat, and where to find car seat fitting stations.  Plus, Buckle Bear will be in attendance for the kids.

  • Friday, Sept. 19, 2014 from 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm @ Christiana Care Hospital Maternity Department.
  • Saturday, Sept. 20, 2014 from 11:00 am – 2:00 pm @ Dover DMV.

Fitting stations are conveniently located statewide and staffed by certified child passenger safety technicians who will inspect the car seat for correct installation and show you how to properly position your child in the seat.  To learn more, please go to www.safercar.gov

Buckle Up. Arrive Alive DE.


Traffic Safety News- The Life You Save May Be Your Own

Do you have plans to take a road trip this summer? Perhaps you will take in some of the local attractions, visit the beaches, or spend time with family and friends. No matter where you go or what you do, always remember to drive safely. The life you save may be your own.

What you need to know

Driving too fast, failing to yield the right of way to others, and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs are common causes of crashes in the first state. These crashes are preventable. Did you know:

  • To date, Delaware has seen a 22% increase in fatal crashes and traffic deaths are up 25% over 2013.
  • Single car crashes and single motorcycle crashes account for nearly half of all fatal crashes in 2014.

What you can do

It is typical during the summer months to see an increase in motorists on the highways, and consequently, an increase in traffic crashes. At OHS, we feel that even one death on our roads is too many.   To stay safe and arrive alive, follow these simple tips every time you get behind the wheel:

  • Check your speed. Plan your route in advance and be prepared to spend more time reaching your destination rather than speeding to get there faster.
  • Obey intersection safety rules. Motorcycle, pedestrian, and bicycle traffic also increases during the summer. Traffic signals and stop signs are in place to maintain safe roadways for drivers, passengers and pedestrians sharing the road.
  • Buckle up. All passengers in the vehicle should use seat belts to keep them safe in the event of a crash.
  • If you are drinking, do not drive. Designate a non-drinking driver or plan for alternate transportation.

For more information visit www.ohs.delaware.gov. Follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/DEHighwaySafe and Facebook www.facebook.com/ArriveAliveDE. And for updated information on checkpoints in your area, text Checkpoint to 99000.

Drive Safe. Arrive Alive DE.


Traffic Safety News – Cell Phone in One Hand, Ticket in the Other

Did you know that motorists who use hand-held devices while driving are 4 times more likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves?  It has become a common occurrence to see others talking on their hand-held cell phone or checking their smartphone while driving.  You may even do it yourself.  But there is more to Distracted Driving than just talking on a cell phone and texting.

What you need to know

Distraction occurs any time you take your eyes off the road, your hands off the wheel, and your mind off the task of driving.   Any non-driving activity you engage in while behind the wheel is a potential distraction and increases your risk of crashing.  Driving while using a cell phone is particularly dangerous. Consider this:

  • Cell phone related crashes trend young in Delaware. 54% of these crashes are caused by a person under the age of 30.
  • Of people under 30, males account for 60% of crashes and females 40%.
  • Of those aged 19 and under, 56% of those responsible were male and 44% were female.
  • 61% of cell phone related crashes have occurred in New Castle County. 23% have occurred in Sussex County, and 15% have occurred in Kent County.
  • Friday trends much higher than other days for cell phone related crashes with the next highest days being Wednesday and Thursday.
  • Cell phone crash rates increase around lunch time, as well as between 1:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. when bars close.

What you can do

OHS and Delaware law enforcement are teaming up to stop distracted drivers by collaborating on a one day cell phone enforcement blitz on February 18.   In 2013, nearly 19,610 citations were written for violating the state’s hands free cell phone law.

  • The law bans texting while driving, as well as bans the use of hand-held cell phones and the use of other mobile devices while driving.
  • Drivers are required to use hands-free technology in order to use a cell phone while driving.

Since the average fine is over $100, it is best to turn off the phone and put it away until you have reached your destination.  If you need to make a call, pull off to a safe location.

And remember, if you have a cell phone in one hand, you may have a ticket in the other.

For more information about Delaware’s cell phone law, see www.ohs.delaware.gov/cellphone.  You can also find more information about distracted driving at www.distraction.gov .

 

Drive Safe.  Arrive Alive DE.

 

This message is brought to you by the Office of Highway Safety, who asks you to drive safely at all times.  For more information on this and other traffic safety programs, go to www.ohs.delaware.gov.