Protecting You While You’re on the Move
This week, the American Association of Public Health is sponsoring National Public Health Week. You can find much of the information blogged about this week at: http://www.nphw.org/tools-and-tips/themes/empowering-a-healthy-community.
Did you know?
• More than half of drivers and passengers killed in car crashes in 2009 were not wearing restraints.46 In just one year, traffic-related deaths and injuries to drivers and passengers cost $70 billion in medical costs and lost productivity;
• In 2010, more than 4,200 pedestrians died in traffic crashes — a 4 percent increase from 2009.That same year about 70,000 pedestrians were injured in traffic crashes;
• More than 600 bicyclists died in motor vehicle crashes in 2010 and 52,000 were injured;
• More than 15 people are killed every day in the U.S. and more than 1,200 are injured in crashes involving a distracted driver;
• Motor vehicle-related injuries are the leading cause of death among U.S. children.51 However, child safety seats reduce the risk of death by 71 percent for infants and by 54 percent for children ages 1 to 4 years old;
• Up to $11.80 in benefits can be gained for every $1 invested in bicycling and walking opportunities. States with the highest levels of biking and walking also have the lowest levels of costly chronic disease, such as high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes.
What Can I Do?
• Always buckle your seat belt no matter how short the trip and don’t be shy about reminding others to do the same;
• That text message can wait! Don’t text while driving. Learn more at www.distraction.gov;
• Never drive impaired or let friends or family drive impaired. If you know you’ll be drinking alcohol, make plans in advance that don’t require you to drive, such as having a designated driver;
• Be an alert pedestrian — always be mindful when using intersections;
• Always wear a helmet when on a motorcycle or bicycle. If you’re a driver, be mindful that you’re sharing the road with more vulnerable travelers;
• Become familiar with the proper vehicle restraint systems for your child depending on his or her weight, height and age. For example, infants and toddlers through age 2 should be placed in rear-facing child safety seats, while children ages 2 to 4 should be placed in forward-facing child safety seats;
• Get involved with efforts to promote safe biking and walking to school, such as your local Safe Routes to School Program;
• If possible, choose to walk or bike to daily destinations, such as to work or school. Choosing biking or walking over driving is an easy way to integrate routine physical activity into your life.
For local health metrics in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, please go to: www.healthyntexas.org.