ANSI - American National Standards Institute
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Begin Celebrating National Safety Month with Tips for Safety On the Road

New York, Jun 03, 2002

It's happened to all drivers at one point or another and can be quite a nerve-wracking experience. For what seems like forever, you've been staring straight ahead at a highway that only seems get longer and more monotonous with every inch. The car is nice and toasty, you feel your shoulders start to sag, and your eyes slowly ... begin to ... close.

Suddenly, you jerk back up, eyes wide open, realizing that you've begun to drift out of your lane and onto the side of the road. You steer your car back into the lane, take a few deep breaths, and realize that you, the safe driver that you are, for a brief moment, had fallen asleep at the wheel. It is situations like this that caused nearly 43,000 people to lose their lives in motor vehicle crashes and over two million more to suffer disabling injuries in 2001 alone, according to the National Safety Council's (NSC) publication Injury Facts. Good drivers, obeying speed limits and rules of the road can still be injured or killed by careless, drunk, inexperienced or reckless drivers, regardless of how careful or skilled.

The NSC, an ANSI member and accredited standards developer, kicked off their annual "=June is National Safety Month" campaign with a weeklong focus on driving safety. During Driving Safety Week, NSC's goal is to teach Americans tips on how to be better, more aware drivers including ways for families to teach teenagers how to become safe and responsible drivers, programs to strengthen graduated driver licensing programs, and how to correctly use child safety seats to protect young children. During each of the four designated weeks of National Safety Month 2002, NSC will focus on the most troublesome problem areas and offer programs, solutions and safety tips to help keep Americans safe and healthy.

"Through advances in public awareness, including new technology and more stringent safety and health laws, a safer environment exists today for Americans," said NSC President Alan C. McMillan, "yet deaths from unintentional injuries continue to plague the nation."

Motor vehicle crashes seem to have always been a problem, having been the leading cause of fatal unintentional injury since 1970, with nearly one death caused by a motor vehicle crash every 12 minutes. National Safety Month intends to change that by teaching drivers tips that can save their lives and those of loved ones. One of the tips that NSC suggests is learning how to drive defensively, meaning not only taking responsibility for yourself and your actions, but also keeping an eye on "the other guy."

NSC also hopes to reduce motor vehicle death and injuries by fighting to strengthen seat belt laws nationwide as well as helping to create graduated licensing laws for new drivers to give them valuable experience on the road.

NSC's website has more information on each of the weeks' activities, along with links to supporting sites offering safety solutions. National Safety Week is an annual observance aimed at increasing public awareness of the dangers Americans face each day on the highways, in homes and communities, and in the workplace by teaching people to live safely throughout the year and ultimately decrease the number of unintentional injuries and deaths. NSC also observed this month with weeks designated to Home and Community Safety Week (June 9-15), Preparedness Week(June 16-22), and Workplace Safety Week (June 23-29).

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