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May 2007

Traffic Safety

Vehicle crashes are the number one cause of death for people between the ages of 16 and 24, accounting for 152 deaths in NYS (NSC). In 2005 in Suffolk County, there were 20,976 traffic accidents and 149 involved a fatality. Out of 6,159,000 vehicle crashes worldwide in 2005, 43,443 people died and 2.7 million more were injured. Those accidents cost the United States $230.6 billion in a single year.

What contributed to these accidents?

6,483 motor vehicle operators involved in fatal crashes had previous recorded crashes.
Most crashes occur during normal weather during daylight hours. The next deadliest time for driving was during rainy periods followed by snow/sleet periods.
  • 58% of fatal crashes involved only one vehicle.
  • More than half of fatal crashes occurred on roads with posted speed limits of 55 mph or more.
  • Collision with another vehicle was the most common for fatal, injury and property damage only crashes. Collisions with fixed objects and non-collisions accounted for only 19% of all crashes, but accounted for 44% of fatal crashes.
  • Nearly 40% of fatal crashes involved alcohol.
  • Of the 2.7 million injured in car crashes, 286,000 are incapacitated and likely will never regain full use of their bodies.

What can you do to stay safe while driving, especially on campus?

Obey all traffic laws and signs!
  • Watch for and yield to pedestrians.
  • Be sure to come to a full stop at every STOP sign and follow posted speed limits, especially on campus.
  • Never use alcohol or other drugs and drive.
  • Never ride with a person who is driving after using alcohol or other drugs.
  • Never ride in a car where any alcohol or drug use is occurring.
  • Always wear you seat belt at all times as a driver or passenger.
  • Always have every passenger wear a seat belt.
  • Do not drive aggressively (e.g. speeding, tailgating, or cutting-off others.)
Do not take unnecessary risks while driving!
  • No playing around with passengers, messing around with the radio, talking on a cell phone, etc.
  • Do not drive when overly tired, angry, or upset.
  • Do not put yourself or others at increased risk by making unnecessary trips in adverse weather.

For more information, please visit the following websites:

The EH&S Tip of the Month is a publication of the EH&S Communications Team: Annette Falcetta, Bob Holthausen, Cliff Knee, Joe Daley, Kim Auletta, Lisa Buchter, Lou Mancusco, Mike Seymour, Sean Harling, & Terry Hulse.

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