Passenger Safety

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Passenger Safety
• We have come a long way in the last 60
years.
Four traditional accident prevention programs have been
used for the last 100 years in an attempt to prevent traffic
accidents and resulting injuries.
•
A. Driver licensing. The purpose of driver licensing is only allow competent
drivers on the highways. This includes getting the worst drivers off the road.
•
B. Engineering. Engineering of both vehicles and highways to reduce the
probability of an accident.
•
C. Enforcement of traffic laws. Compliance with traffic laws is in direct
proportion to the perceived level of enforcement. Without enforcement of
traffic laws, we would have chaos.
•
D. Education. Driver and traffic safety education attempts to reduce the
number of accidents by education of beginning drivers, education of
problem drivers as well as public service ads designed toward the general
population. i.e. "friends don't let friends drive drunk"
Loss Reduction
• Loss reduction is an acceptance that we
can not prevent all accidents from
occurring. Therefore we must do what we
can to reduce losses when accidents do
take place specifically loss of life, injuries
and property damage.
The Costs
• There are about 32,000 deaths, 2,000,000
serious injuries and $200 billion lost in
traffic accidents each year in the US.
• These numbers are on the safest road
system in the world!
Highway Engineering
• There are numerous roadway designs to reduce
losses when a vehicle leaves the roadway.
Divided highways, guard rails, bridge design,
bridge supports, removal of light poles, signs
and trees next to the road, just to name a few.
• All of these lessen the chance of crashing when
leaving the roadway.
Vehicle Design
• There are many design features on vehicles over the
past 40 years. Some of them are: seat belts for all
passengers; shoulder harnesses; windshield design;
head restraints; airbags; padded dash boards; door locks
and recessed handles; seat anchors; side impact
reinforcement; side air bags; adjustable gas and brake
pedals; roof crush reinforcement; tempered side
windows; fuel tank integrity; seat back locks for two
door cars; collapsible steering columns; crush zone; and
flame retardant seat materials.
• The vehicle today is the safest to crash ever built.
Where to look
www.highwaysafety.org
This website has vehicle safety ratings if you
are interested.
Baby with the bathwater?
• Accident prevention is also a continuing design feature.
These features include: high mounted brake lights; antilock brakes; dual brake systems; standard operational
controls; ergonomic seats/controls; daytime running
lights; even seat belts help the driver maintains control of
the vehicle in an emergency. SCS.
• Stability Control Systems actually take over control of
your vehicle if you over react to any situation. You no
longer have a cable to your accelerator, and your
braking and steering are also computer controlled, hope
is does not short out!
• 1996 and newer cars have a computer that can tell
officers what you were doing prior to the collision. OnBoard Diagnostic.
At Least Six Reasons to Wear Your
Belt.
•
A. Prevent ejection from the vehicle. A driver/passenger is 25 times more likely to die
outside the vehicle in a crash.
•
B. Lessen the collision with the interior of the vehicle. What you hit, where you
hit it, and how hard you hit it.
•
C. Provide better protection in fire or water. Belts keep your head from hitting
the wheel or dash and being knocked unconscious. Awake you can get
yourself out of water or a burning car.
•
D. Better control of the vehicle in an emergency. If you are not behind the
wheel, you cannot drive. If you are struggling to stay behind the wheel, you
cannot drive well.
•
E. Air bags present a threat to life if you are too close to them. Seat belts help
keep you in position to allow the air bags to work as designed, not kill you.
•
F. It's the law. About 90% of North Carolina drivers now wear the seat belts.
That number is about 85% in the US.
Why seat belt laws?
• Seat belt usage at 85% nationally (up from
14% twenty years ago) is estimated to
save 12,000 lives a year, and save about
$17 billion.
Thrown out?
• Your chances of being killed are 25 times
greater outside the vehicle.
• We have spent fifty years designing safer
vehicles. Stay in them.
Child Restraints
• Thirty-five years ago, only 4% of children were
properly restrained. With laws
requiring child restraint use in all US
jurisdictions, the percent of children restrained is
85%+.
• A major problem with child restraints continues
to be the improper use of them. Improper use
can compromise safety.
• Remember, traffic is the most dangerous place
these children will ever be.
NC Child Restraint Law
• In NC all children under 16 must be restrained.
• Those under 5 years old (or 40 lbs) must be in a DOT
approved child restraint.
• Those under 8 years and 80lbs, must be in a booster
seat. The penalty is $25 plus court costs (about $136).
• There are two driver license points assigned for violation.
• The child restraint law is primary enforcement. This
means an officer can stop someone for a violation of this
law without any other traffic violation necessary.
Click it or Ticket
• The belt use rate in NC is 90%+. In the US
it is closer to 85%.
• NC is among the highest use rates of the
50 states. "Click it or ticket" is one reason.
Front Seat Law
• This law states that all front seat
occupants must be properly restrained.
• This is regardless of age. The fine is $25
and now $50 in court costs are added.
• There are no points attached to this seat
belt use law in NC.
New Law, 12/06
• As of December of 2006, rear seat
occupants must wear there belts as well.
• The problem with this law is it has no
teeth. The fine is $10 for the second
offense.
• The good news is that the first step is
done. The penalties will increase over
time, just as the child restraint law has
developed.
Why all the fuss? I am the only one
affected buy not wearing a belt
•
The people who are injured because they
refused to wear a restraint, cost us all in
many ways.
• Here are some of the INDIRECT COSTS
of people who are injured because the
seat belt was too much trouble.
Insurance
• Insurance rates are determined by costs to
the companies. The more they pay out,
the more cost is passed to future policy
holders.
• Insurance companies do NOT pay claims,
policy holders do.
Court Costs
• If you have ever been to district or superior court
and watched the wheels of justice turn, you
would have to agree that the wheels of justice
turn slowly if at all.
• How many trial lawyers have made their fortune
in court, over an injury that could have and
should have been prevented by a belt?
• Remember, you pay for all the court personnel,
the building etc. All paid for with your taxes.
Social Security
• How many think you will ever see a check
from Social Security? Sorry.
• If a person is killed or injured in a crash,
(that should not have) how does that affect
SS? Instead of paying 15% of his/her
paycheck into the system, now they may
just get a disability check FROM the
system.
• Who pays that? Right again, YOU DO.
Education Wasted
• In NC, the tax payers fund your education to the
tune of about $6,500 per year for 13 years.
• When you come to EC, we (tax payers) fund you
again to the tune of about $9,000 per year.
• That is well over $120,000 per child invested.
You kill yourself because a seat belt is too much
trouble to put on, and we just wasted our
investment.
EMT
• How many hours are wasted by
emergency personnel treating persons
injured when they should not have been.
• BTW. Ever waited for an ambulance?
Why was is delayed? Was is at the at
someone else’s injury accident?
• Get the point?
Medical Availability
• If you have ever waited to get into a
hospital, PCMH is full. They also have to
keep beds available for “trauma” victims.
That’s car crashes.
• Blood supply is another. You will have to
wait for “elective” surgery. Got to keep the
blood available too.
Time off work
• How many work days are missed because
of injuries that should/could have been
prevented.
• We loose 500,000 man/years of labor
every year to car accidents.
• How many could have been prevented?
Police Services
• How many man hours of police personnel
are used to deal with accidents and
injuries that could/should have been
prevented?
Medical Costs
• Did you know that 40% of your hospital bill
is to pay for the guy next to you that does
not have insurance?
• We must, by law, treat them. Well PCMH
is not going to pay for them, you will.
• A higher percentage of the uninsured,
don’t wear belts either.
• Again, we all pay.
Serious Injuries
• Each year, in the US, there are 600,000
neck/spinal cord injuries, 179,000 brain
injuries and 638,000 facial injuries. Seat
belts with air bags can prevent a
significant percentage of these.
• A neck/spinal cord injury takes 200 health
care professionals and a $1Million to treat.
Let’s look at Airbags
• First the Bad.
• A. Cost about $1,000 per vehicle.
B. Cost about $2,000 to reinstall them
C. They only work in front end, front angular
collisions. (about 50% of all collisions).
D. Minor burns and injuries.
E. Noise and "gas" in vehicle when deployed.
F. Deaths -(Later)
The Good
• A. They work. The mechanics are not a
significant problem.
B. They are a passive system. It takes no action
on the part of the passengers to allow it to work.
(Remember it always works best with the active
restraint-seatbelt).
C. They work best in the most serious type of
accident-head-on and front angular collisions.
Suggestions for Improvement of
Airbags
• The suggestions for improving their effectiveness are:
A. Slow them down to 160 MPH
B. Allow for ignition shut off switches for children who
have to use the front seat.
C. "Smart" airbags to determine the size and location of
passengers
D. Pedal and steering columns adjustments for short
people to get away from the air bag
E. Education to get children in the back seat away from
the airbag.
Airbags is Vehicles
• Airbags have been required in cars,
driver’s side, since 1993.
• SUVs and trucks, about 1996.
• So for over 10 years, all vehicles have
front airbags.
• Millions are deployed each year, with 6
million accidents each year.
• You are looking at 10s of millions of
vehicles with airbags.
Where to find information
• www.highwaysafety.org
• Great resource for any traffic safety issue.
Airbags save lives
• 1000’s of lives are saved every year by
airbags.
• Misuse by a few is no reason to consider
turning them off or removing them.\
• Second only to seat belts in saving lives.
How good?
• Airbags add about 25% to seat belts.
• Seat belts reduce death or serious injury
by 50-60%.
• Add 25% to that, we are near 80% of
deaths and/or serious injuries can be
prevented.
• Buy a car with airbags, wear your belt!
What about Side Impact Airbags?
• The information about side impact airbags is
slowly becoming available. They are still in the
development phase.
• The fact remains that of the 24,000 vehicle
occupants killed each year in the US, nearly
8,000 of them are side impact collisions.
• More needs to be done to reinforce and pad the
sides of vehicles to protect occupants.
• The side “curtain” airbags is showing promise in
preventing head injuries.
At no extra charge…
• Want to know what sells cars today?
• Safety and Performance.
• A true oxymoron.
Conclusion
• The vehicles we have today are the
easiest to drive, safest to crash we have
ever had.
• That is why the total deaths is only 32,000.
• Slow down. Buckle up. Drive sober.
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