Safety Before Turning the Key
A new study shows that Americans need to be re-educated about proper car safety standards. A public opinion survey, conducted by Public Opinion Strategies for the National Safety Council (NSC) and Castrol GTX Start Up, reveals that 93 percent of Americans are hitting the roads ill prepared - therefore increasing their chances of a road accident. Through this first ever conducted survey on motorists' pre-start inspections and behaviors, it was found that 9 out of 10 respondents admitted to not following the recommended safety guidelines.
The following is the NSC pre-start checklist:
- Buckle seat belts and make sure they're properly fastened. In the last 20 years, an estimated 157,500 lives have been saved by safety belts.
- Adjust the mirrors. Three out of 10 survey respondents do not adjust their mirrors before short trips (two hours or less), when it is more likely you will get in a crash.
- Position the seat and head restraints. Correctly positioned head restraints reduce whiplash injuries resulting from crashes by 28.3 percent.
- Secure loose objects Only 34 percent of survey respondents regularly secure loose objects in their cars, even though, on average loose items from luggage to soda pop cans are responsible for 13,000 injuries in accidents nationwide in just one year.
- Turn off cell phones In the last five years alone, nearly 300,000 drivers have been involved in crashes attributed to cell phone use.
- Look for engine warning lights Three out of four respondents said they always check to see if their light is on; however many admitted to checking the light while already driving.
- Check your fuel level In preparing for a trip - large or small - it's necessary to ensure you have enough gasoline in your tank to get there and back. Twenty-five percent of survey respondents said they do not check their gas level.
- Allow enough time to avoid speeding and aggressive driving.
Reprinted from roadandtravel.com