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690 Flatbush Avenue West Hartford, CT  06110-1308

860 236-9350             800 856-6400  toll free     860 523-9101  fax

27 Holmes Avenue Downtown Waterbury 203 756-6100




Staying Safe on the Road

bulletWear your seatbelt.  Using a seatbelt reduces the risk of death or serious injury by 50% for occupants of cars and by 65% for occupants of sports utility vehicles (SUVs), which are more likely than cars to roll over in an accident.  A seat belt keeps you from hitting the windshield or dashboard.  A seat belts also keeps you inside the vehicle, which is especially important in rollover accidents.  Seat belts keep rear seat passengers from hitting the the roof or the back of the front seat and from being thrown from the vehicle.
bulletDo not drink and drive.  Do not ride in a vehicle if the driver has been drinking.  About 40% of all fatal accidents involve alcohol.  About 17,000 people die each year in alcohol related car accidents.  That us one death every 30 minutes.  Drunk drivers kill their spouses, friends and children.  Do not let others drive if they have been drinking.  Do not just warn your teenager about drunk driving.  Tell him or her that if they are ever in a situation where they are tempted to drive after drinking or to be a passenger of someone who has been drinking, that they can call you for a ride, no questions asked.
bulletUse a car seat or booster seat for your child.  Automobile accidents are the leading cause of death for children in the United States.  About 50% of  these deaths happen to children who are unrestrained.  The safest place for your child’s car seat or booster seat is in the rear of the car.  Secure the seat correctly.  If you can tug the seat more than 1 inch it is probably not installed correctly.  Police or fire departments will gladly check the installation for you.
bulletKeep your distance from other cars.  The most common car accident is the rear-ender.  Keep a safe distance from the car in front of you.  (For every 10 miles per hour of speed, you should be at least one second behind the car in front of you.)  Check your rear mirror often and if the car behind you is too close, control the situation by pulling over and letting the car go by.
bulletBe extra careful at intersections.  Accidents at intersections are often the most dangerous  because there is often little protection provided by airbags or seat belts in a side impact.  SUVs often get knocked over when struck from the side.  Avoid intersection accidents by not running red lights.  If approaching a light that turns green, do not enter the intersection without making sure that no one is running a red light.  When stopped for a red light, stay far back from the intersection so that you do not get hit by cars turning sharply into the intersection.
bulletDo not take chances with left hand turns.  When turning left in front of oncoming traffic, make sure you have plenty of time to make your turn.  If in doubt, wait until traffic passes.  If there is more than one lane of oncoming traffic, make sure all lanes are clear before turning left.  If an oncoming driver signals for you to make your turn, again make sure all oncoming lanes are clear before turning left.
bulletMake sure your teenage driver is well trained.  A driver's ed class may be enough for your teenage son or daughter to get a license but probably not enough for him or her to become a good driver.  Spend as much time as you can teaching your teenager how to drive.  Point out things you have learned from your years of driving.
bulletAvoid road rage.  Do not get lured into driving aggressively if another driver cuts you off or makes some other foolish maneuver.  Control the situation by ignoring the other driver.  If a driver tailgates you or pulls alongside and makes gestures at you, let the driver go by.  If you feel threatened, drive to a police station or to a place with a lot of people like a shopping plaza, restaurant or coffee shop.


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