Friday, November 6, 2009

All About Driving Friday

Practice Patience Today
If you like or work around the Seattle core, be ready for some delays, detours and traffic congestion during memorial procession.

A memorial procession for Seattle police Officer Timothy Brenton will begin at 9 a.m. at the University of Washington. It will end around noon at KeyArena, where a public service is scheduled for 1 p.m.

NHTSA releases 2008 traffic safety reports
The number of people who died in motor vehicle crashes in 2008 decreased 10 percent from the previous year, according to reports recently released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

In 2008, 37,261 people were killed and 2.3 million people were injured in traffic crashes. Among other findings:
- 2,739 drivers 15-20 years old were killed and an additional 228,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes.
- Alcohol-impaired driving fatalities fell to 11,773.
- 1 out of every 9 traffic fatalities resulted from collisions involving a large truck.
- Older adults accounted for 14 percent of all traffic fatalities and 18 percent of all pedestrian fatalities.

NHTSA study examines motorcycle helmet use, crash outcomes
Motorcyclists who wear helmets are less likely to experience facial and head injuries than riders who do not wear helmets, according to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration report released Oct. 27.

As part of the study (.pdf file), researchers examined data from its Crash Outcome Data Evaluation System on 104,472 motorcyclists and 93,527 motorcycles involved in 89,086 crashes in 18 states between 2003 and 2005. Findings showed helmeted motorcyclists were significantly less likely to experience a traumatic brain injury. Additional findings showed:
* More than two-thirds of motorcycle crashes occurred between noon and 8:59 p.m.
Motorcycle crashes were more likely to occur in summer months.
* 68 percent of crashes occurred in an urban area; 38 percent occurred at intersections.
* Researchers noted that CODES data does not identify whether the individual motorcycle helmets in fatal crashes complied with Department of Transportation regulations.

Child booster seats effective in injury prevention: study
Vehicle booster seats – both backless and high-back – significantly reduce the risk of children being injured in a motor vehicle crash, a study from the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia's Center for Injury Research and Prevention has found.

As part of the study, researchers reviewed the files of more than 7,000 children ages 4-8 involved in vehicle crashes between 1998 and 2007. Data showed children in booster seats were 45 percent less likely to be injured in a crash than children who used seat belts alone. The greatest injury reduction was seen in side-impact crashes, researchers found.

Researchers noted that since 2002, booster seat use among children ages 6-8 has tripled, likely due to the passage of many state laws requiring its use. Today, 47 states have booster seat laws, with 25 states and the District of Columbia requiring use up to age 8. Florida, Arizona and South Dakota are the only states that do not legally require child booster seats.

The study was published in the November issue of the journal Pediatrics.

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