Are you being safe in and around motor vehicles? Find out

This week, the National Safety Month topic is safe driving. While we’re definitely focused on the individual operating the vehicle, this also extends to those in and around the driver as well.  The No. 1 tip is to always wear a seatbelt. In 2016, 48 percent of vehicle occupants killed on the road were unbelted. Parkview Health encourages drivers to practice these other precautions provided by the National Safety Council.

We all believe ourselves to be safe drivers, yet up to 94 percent of motor vehicle crashes involve human error. Follow these tips to help stay safe on the roads.

Avoid dangerous driving behaviors

Prevent injuries on the road by keeping your focus on the driving task:

• Avoid impaired driving, whether by alcohol, lack of sleep or drugs, including over-the-counter and prescription medication

• Avoid cell phone distracted driving, including hands-free

• Practice with your teen drivers and teach them to avoid distraction

• Make sure all occupants are properly secured in age-appropriate restraints

• Never leave a child alone in a car and always keep your car locked when not in use

• If you drive for work, talk with your employer about safe habits – do not take calls while behind the wheel

• Regularly check your vehicle for recalls at and stay up to date on the safety features in your car by visiting

Use safety features correctly

Modern cars come with safety features that can help protect the driver, passengers and even pedestrians, but they must be used correctly. Look through your vehicle manual to learn which features are available and make use of them to stay safe while behind the wheel.

• Do not rely on safety features to replace you as the driver – you are still your car’s best safety feature

• Make sure you understand your vehicle safety features before using them – not all vehicle safety features operate the same way

• Maintain your vehicle to keep safety features working correctly, including clearing the vehicle of mud, ice and snow

• Pay attention to vehicle alerts and warnings

• Educate teens and all inexperienced drivers about the safety features present in the vehicle and how they work

Parking lot safety

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