It’s Not Too Late to Make These Life-Saving Changes!
About 45% of Americans make New Year's resolutions at the beginning of each New Year. Yet, by February, the majority of those individuals have not been successful. If you’ve already failed in your New Year’s Resolutions - DON’T PANIC! It’s never too late to make healthy changes! Here are a few simple LIFE-SAVING changes you can make now.
- If you frequently walk, make pedestrian safety a priority by avoiding the use of headphones while walking and becoming an alert, defensive pedestrian. In 2012, 4,743 pedestrians were killed in traffic accidents in the U.S. while another 76,000 were injured. This translates into one crash-related pedestrian death every two hours and a pedestrian injury every seven minutes. While children and the elderly are at a greater risk of injury or death from a traffic crash, young adult male pedestrians from the age of 15-29 are the most likely group to be treated in an ER for pedestrian crash-related injuries. A significant number of these accidents are due to the use of headphones by the pedestrian which prevents him or her from hearing traffic sounds.
- Stop texting while driving. Texting while driving among teens is an even greater threat than drinking and driving and is currently the leading cause of teenage death. Adults are not doing much better. While almost all adults acknowledge how dangerous texting and driving is, according to AAA, between 72 and 82% of adults admit to using their phone "fairly often" while behind the wheel-including texting. While both talking and texting are dangerous distractions, texting demands attention from the eyes, hands, fingers and brain. Vow to stop texting or talking while driving, as well as to educate your teens on the dangers of texting and driving.
- Wear a motorcycle and/or bicycle helmet. Although studies show, time and time again, that wearing motorcycle and bicycle helmets save lives, it is surprising just how many people don't wear helmets. Two percent of motor vehicle crash deaths are bicyclists, with the vast majority of these deaths being attributed to head injuries. Helmet use can reduce the risk of head injury among bicyclists by a fill 85%, yet 65% of bicyclists killed in 2012 were not wearing a helmet. For motorcyclists, more than 80% of all motorcycle crashes result in serious injury or death to the motorcyclist, and per mile driving, motorcyclists are 16 times more likely to die in a crash than an automobile driver. Wearing a motorcycle helmet reduces the risk of serious injury or death by nearly a third, and motorcyclists who don't wear helmets are about 40% more likely to sustain a fatal head injury in a collision. Unless helmet use is mandatory under state law, only about 34-54% of motorcyclists wear helmets, and even fewer bicyclists wear helmets.
- Designate a sober driver. It is estimated that designated drivers have saved well over 50,000 lives. Imagine one of those lives was yours-or that of a loved one. While many people have the best intentions of not driving while impaired, these intentions can quickly disappear as a party progresses. Having a designated driver who agrees to abstain from drinking, ensuring everybody makes it home safely, is the easiest way to avoid driving drunk. Plan and make sure there is a designated sober driver every single time you will be where alcohol is being served.
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