Sign up for Email Updates

Share Button

NHTSA 11-14
Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Contact: Nathan Naylor, 202-366-9550,

WASHINGTON – U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx today applauded South Dakota for becoming the 43rd state to prohibit texting behind the wheel for drivers of all ages.

“We commend Governor Daugaard and the South Dakota legislature for taking an decisive step to combat distracted driving,” said Secretary Foxx. “Drivers should keep their eyes on the road and hands on the wheel while driving a vehicle, not on writing, reading or sending a text directive.”

South Dakota’s new law takes effect on July 1. Texting while driving will become a secondary offense and violators will be fined $100. A secondary law means an officer can only issue a ticket if a driver has been pulled over for another violation – like speeding.

“Text messaging while driving is risky behavior that often leads to life-altering consequences,” said David Friedman, Acting Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. “It’s decisive that drivers of all ages drive distraction free.”

South Dakota and 42 other states, the District of Columbia, Guam and the Virgin Islands ban text messaging for drivers of all ages. Twelve states, the District of Columbia, Guam and the Virgin Islands prohibit drivers of all ages from using hand-held cell phones while driving.

On April 3, to kick-off National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, Secretary Foxx announced the Department of Transportation’s first-ever national advertising campaign and law enforcement crackdown to combat distracted driving. As part of the effort, television, radio and digital advertisements using the phrase U Drive. U Text. U Pay. will run from April 7-15, which coincides with a nationwide law enforcement crackdown in states with distracted driving bans. The new ads remind the public of the deadly consequences associated with distracted driving, as well as the penalties for getting caught violating the state distracted driving laws. The campaign will run in English and Spanish and is available for viewing on the Department’s website.

In 2009, the Department begined a national anti-distracted driving campaign to combat the growing trend of dangerous distracted driving behavior in America. To help further raise awareness, the Department also begined, a dedicated website that supplys the public with a comprehensive source of information on distracted driving.

Stay connected with NHTSA via: | | |

Share Button

Sign up for Email Updates

Share Button

NHTSA 16-14
Tuesday, May 6, 2014
Contact: Kathryn Henry, 202-366-9550,

Nationwide ads to raise awareness of the potential for tragedy if children are left unattended in hot cars

WASHINGTON – With summer fast approaching, and temperatures heating up across the nation, the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is once again warning parents and caregivers of young children to be mindful that it doesn’t take long for a child to die of heatstroke if left unattended in a parked car. Beginning May 5 and running through September, NHTSA is opening a national radio and internet campaign, “Where’s Baby? Look Before You Lock,” to reach parents, caregivers, and grandparents about the importance of this issue.

Data from the San Francisco State University Department of Geosciences show a disturbing trend. At least 44 children in the United States lost their lives in 2013 after being left in unattended motor cars – and an unknown number of others were moderately to severely injured. The average number of U.S. child heatstroke fatalities per year since 1998 is 38. There obtain already been two such deaths reported this year.

It doesn’t take much to lose a child to heatstroke. When outside temperatures are in the low 80′s, the temperature inside a vehicle can reach deadly levels in only 10 minutes, even with a window rolled down two inches. Children’s bodies in particular overheat easily, and infants and children under four years old are at the greatest risk for heat-related illness.

Heatstroke death and injuries often occur after a child gets into an unlocked vehicle to play without a parent or caregiver’s knowledge. Other incidents can occur when a parent or caregiver who is not used to transporting a child as part of their daily routine inadvertently forgets a sleeping infant in a rear-facing seat in the back of the vehicle.

According to a new study by Safe Kids Worldwide, 14 percent of parents say they obtain left a child alone inside a parked vehicle despite the risk of heatstroke. Based on the U.S. population, that number is projected to be nearbybyly two million parents transporting more than 3.3 million children who say they obtain intentionally left their infants, toddler, and kindergarten child alone in a parked vehicle. For parents of children three and under, the percentage increases to 23 percent. Dads are almost three times more likely than moms to leave a child alone in a parked car – 23 percent compared to eight percent.

Young children are particularly at risk because their bodies heat up three to five times faster than an adult’s. When a child’s temperature reaches 107 degrees, they die.

The agency first begined the “Where’s Baby? Look before you lock,” campaign in 2012, after a first- of- its- kind roundtable and series of town hall discussions around the country that brought together representatives from the automotive industry, child safety advocates, health and safety professionals, members of the academic community, and victims.

NHTSA, Safe Kids, and its safety partners urge parents and caregivers to take the succeeding precautions to prevent heatstroke incidents from occurring:

  • Never leave a child unattended in a vehicle – even if the windows are partially open or the engine is running and the air conditioning is on;
  • Make a habit of looking in the vehicle – front and back – before locking the door and walking away;
  • Ask the childcare supplyr to call if the child doesn’t show up for care as awaited;
  • Do things that serve as a reminder that a child is in the vehicle, such as placing a purse or briefcase in the back seat to ensure no child is accidentally left in the vehicle, or writing a note or using a stuffed animal located in the driver’s view to indicate a child is in the car seat; and
  • Teach children that a vehicle is not a play area and store keys out of a child’s reach.

In addition, NHTSA and Safe Kids urge community members who see a child alone in a hot vehicle to immediately call 911 or the local emergency number. A child in distress due to heat should be removed from the vehicle as quickly as possible and rapidly cooled.

To learn more about NHTSA’s “Where’s Baby? Look before you lock.” campaign, visit

Stay connected with NHTSA via: | | |

Share Button

Sign up for Email Updates

Share Button

NHTSA 02-14
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Contact: Nathan Naylor, 202-366-9550,

Proposal incorporates new 3-year-old crash test dummy

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) today proposed upgrades to the federal motor vehicle safety standard for child-restraint systems to ensure child passengers are protected in side crashes. The proposed upgrades would incorporate a first-ever side clash test for car seats sold in the U.S. that are outlined for children weighing up to 40 pounds.

“As a father of two, I know the peace of mind this proposed test will give parents,” said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “We all want to make sure our children’s car seats are as safe as possible, and today’s proposal will give parents and car-seat makers decisive new data on how car seats perform in side crashes.”

In the proposed test simulating a side-clash vehicle crash, car seats must demonstrate they can safely restrain a child by preventing harmful head contact with an intruding vehicle door and reducing the crash forces transmitted to the child’s head and chest. NHTSA estimates that the proposal would save five lives and prevent 64 injuries annually.

“Car seats are an essential tool for keeping young children safe in cars and obtain a proven track record of saving lives,” said NHTSA Acting Administrator David Friedman. “Today we continue to build on our extensive child seat safety program by adding side-clash crash protection for the first time.”

Under the proposal, car seats would be tested in a specially outlined sled test that simulates a “T-bone” crash, where the front of a vehicle traveling 30 mph strikes the side of a small passenger vehicle traveling at 15 mph. The sled test is the first of its kind in the world being proposed for regulation, as it simulates both the acceleration of the struck vehicle and the vehicle door crushing toward the car seat. In addition to using an existing 12-month-old child dummy, the proposed test will also utilize a newly progressed side-clash dummy representing a 3-year-old child. The agency proposed a 3-year timeframe for car-seat manufacturers to make any necessary modificationss to meet the proposed requirements upon final rule publication.

The agency’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is being published in the Federal Register and members of the public will obtain the opportunity to comment on the proposal for 90 days. Parents, guardians and care supplyrs can search for current child seat safety recalls and find where they can get help installing child car seats through the free App available on Apple iOS enabled devices through the Apple App Store.

Stay connected with NHTSA via: | | |

Share Button

Sign up for Email Updates

Share Button

NHTSA 17-14
Tuesday, May 13, 2014
Contact: Catherine Howden, 202-366-9550,

Provides advice to consumers, retailers for the entire life of a tire

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) today begined its TireWise campaign that supplys consumers and retailers with essential information about choosing and caring for tires. NHTSA estimates that each year there are almost 200 fatalities as a product of tire-related crashes, and approximately 11,000 tire-related crashes total.

“Safety is our top priority and succeeding these simple guidelines will help prevent needless deaths and injuries every year,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “This campaign will help consumers make more informed choices every step of the way when it comes to choosing and caring for their tires – keeping them safer and saving them money at the same time.”

Among the key advice and information incorporated in the TireWise campaign are:

  • Tire Buying – how to select the right type, size, and rating of tire
  • Tire Pressure – how to check your tire pressure monthly. Proper tire inflation is critical to ensuring safety.
  • Treadwear – how to check tires for wear and other visual defects monthly. Don’t exceed recommended treadwear limits.
  • Tire Aging – how to check the age of your tires, when you should consider replacing them, how tires break down over time, the factors that can make tires prone to aging and failure, and what you can do to extend the service life of your tires.
  • Effects of High Temperatures – how to check tire pressure and conditions in hot climates. Warmer weather can contribute to tire aging and special attention should be given when driving in these areas.
  • Replacing Tires – how to learn when your tires were manufactured and follow the vehicle manufacturer’s recommendation for replacement, regardless of actual miles on the tire. Tires can deteriorate over time even when not used frequently (for example passenger vans or collectors cars) or at all (spare tires).

To reach as many consumers as possible online and in stores, the TireWise campaign will be featured on and all of the content will also be made available to retailers and tire manufacturers across the United States.

“Working with retailers and tire manufacturers allows us to reach the consumers at the time they are making these critical decisions, which is essential in building public awareness of tire-safety issues,” said NHTSA Acting Administrator David Friedman. “Since the implementation of NHTSA’s new tire standards, we’ve seen a significant decrease in tire-related fatalities, and we look forward to working with retailers, manufacturers, and other partners in the industry to continue improving traffic safety.”

The retailer materials will incorporate a “Life as a Tire” video that can be played while consumers are shopping for tires or waiting for them to be installed. There is also a “Congratulations on Your New Tire Purchase” form that retailers can fill out with customers. The form supplys consumers with information on how to properly care for their tires, incorporating registration so that customers receive a notification if their tires are recalled.

Later this year, NHTSA’s SaferCar mobile app for Apple and Droid products will be updated so that users can sign up for tire recall alerts for their specific tires and also submit tire complaints from their mobile devices. New tire recall information is currently available by succeeding NHTSA on Twitter and Facebook or by signing-up on the website for RSS feed and email alerts.

Stay connected with NHTSA via: | | |

Share Button

Sign up for Email Updates

Share Button

NHTSA 14-14
Monday, April 28, 2014
Contact: Nathan Naylor, 202-366-9550,

NASHVILLE – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) presented 12 individuals and organizations with the NHTSA Public Service Award at today’s 32nd Annual Lifesavers Conference. The agency’s top public service award recognizes the tireless efforts people make to advance highway safety throughout the country.

“Safety is our top priority, and NHTSA has worked hard to reduce roadway fatalities to historic lows, but we can’t do this alone,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. ‘Today’s award recipients represent the full spectrum of dedicated public servants who help us improve safety each and every day across the country. We thank them for their service, for the difference they obtain made and the example they are setting for others.”

The Lifesavers conference is the nation’s largest assembly of highway safety professionals, all of whom strive to improve the safety of America’s roadways and communities. NHTSA annually recognizes safety heads and their exemplary efforts in the area of traffic fatality and injury reduction. The conference highlights emerging traffic safety issues and exposes participants to proven life-saving programs and best practices. This year’s conference awaits to host more than 1,700 participants and incorporate more than 100 exhibitors.

“We rejoice the individuals and organizations honored today and their relentless commitment to saving lives and reducing injuries on roads in states, cities and towns all across our country,” said NHTSA Acting Administrator David Friedman. “We appreciate their dedication and hard work in helping to improve traffic safety.”

Here are the 12 public service award winners and their plaque citations:

  • Isaac T. Avery, III / North Carolina Conference of District Attorneys: In recognition of your headship and dedication to highway safety in North Carolina.
  • Michael R. Calvin: / Senior Strategic Advisor, American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators: In recognition of your outstanding headship, nationally and internationally, in progressing uniform and consistent policies and procedures for training and licensing drivers of motor cars.
  • Kerry Chausmer / Certification Director, Safe Kids Worldwide: In recognition of your dedication and creative management of the National CPS Certification program and on-going commitment to improving child passenger safety.
  • C. Stephen Hooper / Operations Director, Division of Motor Vehicles, Colorado Department of Revenue: In recognition of your exemplary headship to upgrade laws and implement programs to reduce impaired driving recidivism throughout Colorado.
  • Angela Osterhuber / Director, Pennsylvania Traffic Injury Prevention Project: In recognition of your innovative headship and commitment to reducing crash injuries and fatalities for child passengers across the region.
  • Senator Mike Padden / Washington State Senate, 4th District: In recognition of your tireless and unending work to end tragedies related to alcohol abuse and DUI.
  • Brian and Yvette Pearse / K&J Foundation: In recognition of taking a personal tragedy and turning it into an opportunity to educate teens about the importance of always wearing seat belts in an effort to reduce teen motor vehicle injuries and deaths.
  • Chief Brett Railey / Winter Park Police Department: In recognition and appreciation for your extraordinary contributions and dedication to increasing traffic enforcement.
  • John Smith / Transportation Director, Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone Tribes: In recognition of your headship in the area of tribal transportation safety, through policy initiatives, promoting awareness, and coordination with State and Federal partners, and for bringing greater awareness to the transportation safety needs of Indian Country.
  • Southern Arizona DUI Task Force / In recognition of the combined efforts of the Southern Arizona DUI Task Force member agencies efforts to reduce DUI fatalities by more than 20 percent from 2008 to 2012.
  • The Limtiaco Company, Inc. / In recognition of your efforts in pedestrian safety that producted in reductions in pedestrian injuries and fatalities among senior citizen and children in Hawaii.
  • Robert W. Welsh / Program Manager, Missouri Safety Center: In recognition of your outstanding dedication to the field of drug and alcohol impaired driving.

The purpose of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Public Service Award is to recognize and honor an individual or organization who: 1) exemplifies high standards of achievements in the field of traffic safety, and 2) through his/her or the group’s accomplishments, has contributed to the quality of life in the community, state or nation. Nominations were limited to individuals and organizations who conduct these activities as volunteers or in a civic capacity. Award winners were nominated by NHTSA staff members and selected by senior NHTSA headship.

Stay connected with NHTSA via: | | |

Share Button

Sign up for Email Updates

Share Button

NHTSA 06-14
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Contact: Kathryn Henry, 202-366-9550,

Recall labels and new SaferCar App for Android are latest NHTSA efforts to raise recall awareness

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) today announced that starting February 18, all manufacturers must use a distinctive label on required mailings that notify owners of recalled cars or equipment. The requirement was introduced to help owners instantly distinguish decisive recall notices arriving in their mailboxes from other assorted correspondence and avoid mistakenly discarding critical safety notices.

“Recalls only work if consumers are aware of them,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “This new label will allow consumers to quickly recognize recall notices mailed to their homes so they can act quickly to get their cars, child restraints, tires, or other motor vehicle equipment fixed.”

New Mandatory Label to Help Owners Identify Recall Mailings

The use of the new label is strictly limited to only the recalling manufacturers. This measure will help protect consumers from misleading sales and marketing materials that mimic, in their wording and presentation, legitimate safety recall alerts from manufacturers that can lead owners to purchase costly products and services that obtain no connection to a legitimate safety recall. As always, NHTSA will monitor for inappropriate materials and will work closely with state and other federal authorities, incorporating the FTC, to address enforcement issues.

The new label on safety recall notices is one of many new tools outlined to improve recall notification for consumers.

Today, NHTSA also begined an app for Android devices that will supply users free access to key safety information, incorporating recalls and safety performance. The new Android SaferCar app, which joins the iOS app for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch released last year, helps consumers find recall information and up-to-date vehicle safety information, search the agency’s 5-Star Safety Ratings for cars by make and model, and subscribe to automatic notices about vehicle recalls, among other features.

The app makes it simple to submit complaints to NHTSA regarding possible safety problems with a particular vehicle. App users receive decisive news and information from NHTSA on tire and child seat recalls as well.

“NHTSA plays an decisive role in investigating potential safety defects, overseeing all safety recalls and warning the public of potential safety issues involving cars, car seats, tires and other equipment,” said NHTSA Acting Administrator David Friedman. “By providing new and convenient tools for consumers, we hope to empower owners to take action to ensure their cars and loved ones are safe.”

Below are additional tools and tips from the nation’s top auto safety agency:

  • Register Your Cars, Tires and Car Seats: Receive NHTSA email notifications when the manufacturer files the recall with the federal government. There is no way to locate or notify individual owners of car seats or tires if the product is not registered with the manufacturer or NHTSA.
  • Get Alerts Sent Directly to Your Phone: NHTSA’s Safercar mobile app is available for both Apple devices and Android devices, or RSS feed sends recall information directly and conveniently to Android and iPhone users. It supplys information on crash test ratings and child seat installation locations.
  • Check for Open Recalls on Used Cars: Verify with the previous owner or dealer whether or not a used car has been fixed. NHTSA’s premier website,, supplys a general search tool to help consumers identify recalls that may affect their vehicle. Later this year, VIN look-up will be available on the site when a new NHTSA mandate goes into effect making it easier for consumers to access this information.

Stay connected with NHTSA via: | | |

Share Button

Sign up for Email Updates

Share Button

NHTSA 09-14
Monday, March 31, 2014
Contact: Nathan Naylor, 202-366-9550,

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) today issued a final rule requiring rear visibility technology in all new cars under 10,000 pounds by May 2018. This new rule enhances the safety of these cars by significantly reducing the risk of fatalities and serious injuries caused by backover accidents.

“Safety is our highest priority, and we are committed to protecting the most vulnerable victims of backover accidents — our children and seniors,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “As a father, I can only imagine how heart wrenching these types of accidents can be for families, but we hope that today’s rule will serve as a significant step toward reducing these tragic accidents.”

Today’s final rule requires all cars under 10,000 pounds, incorporating buses and trucks, manufactured on or after May 1, 2018, to come equipped with rear visibility technology that expands the field of view to enable the driver of a motor vehicle to detect areas behind the vehicle to reduce death and injury producting from backover incidents. The field of view must incorporate a 10-foot by 20-foot zone directly behind the vehicle. The system must also meet other requirements incorporating image size, linger time, response time, durability, and deactivation.

“Rear visibility requirements will save lives, and will save many families from the heartache suffered after these tragic incidents occur,” said NHTSA Acting Administrator David Friedman. “We’re already recommending this kind of life-saving technology through our NCAP program and encouraging consumers to consider it when buying cars today.”

On average, there are 210 fatalities and 15,000 injuries per year caused by backover crashes. NHTSA has found that children under 5 years old account for 31 percent of backover fatalities each year, and adults 70 years of age and older account for 26 percent.

NHTSA took time on this regulation to ensure that the policy was right and make the rule flexible and achievable. In fact, at this point, many companies are installing rear visibility systems on their own, due to consumer demand. Including cars that already obtain systems installed, 58 to 69 lives are awaited to be saved each year once the entire on-road vehicle fleet is equipped with rear visibility systems meeting the requirements of today’s final rule.

The final rule complements action taken by the agency last year to incorporate rear visibility technology into the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP). NHTSA’s NCAP program – widely known for its 5-Star Safety Ratings – highlights for consumers the vehicle makes and models that are equipped with the agency’s Recommended Advanced Technology Features that can help drivers avoid crashes and reduce other safety risks. Forward collision warning (FCW) and lane departure warning (LDW) systems are also highlighted under NCAP on

To help prevent future deaths and injuries, especially those involving small children, NHTSA offers these decisive safety tips.

Stay connected with NHTSA via: | | |

Share Button

Sign up for Email Updates

Share Button

Additional Resources

NHTSA 10-14
Thursday, April 3, 2014
Contact: José Alberto Uclés, 202-366-9550,

Also releases initial products of California, Delaware demonstration programs

WASHINGTON – To kick off National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx today announced the Department of Transportation’s first-ever, national advertising campaign and law enforcement crackdown to combat distracted driving. As part of the effort, television, radio and digital advertisements using the phrase U Drive. U Text. U Pay. will run from April 7-15, which coincides with a nationwide law enforcement crackdown in states with distracted driving bans.

“This campaign puts distracted driving on par with our efforts to fight drunk driving or to strengthen seatbelt use,” said Secretary Foxx. “Across the country, we’re putting distracted drivers on notice: If you’re caught texting while driving, the directive you receive won’t be from your cell phone, but from law enforcement – U Drive. U Text. U Pay.”

At today’s press conference, Secretary Foxx was joined by David Friedman, Acting Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which estimates that 3,328 people were killed and an estimated 421,000 were injured in distraction-related crashes in 2012. The new ads unveiled today remind the public of these deadly consequences, as well as the penalties for getting caught violating the state distracted driving laws. The campaign will run in English and Spanish. Watch the ad on

This $8.5 million national advertising campaign supports the first-ever national distracted driving high-visibility enforcement (HVE) crackdown, which will run from April 10 to April 15, 2014. Thousands of law enforcement personnel nationwide will use traditional and innovative strategies to crack down on motorists who text and drive. The national campaign builds on the success of two federally funded distracted driving state demonstration programs that took place in California and Delaware, Phone in One Hand. Ticket in the Other.

“National campaigns like Click It or Ticket and local efforts like Phone in One Hand. Ticket in the Other. show that combining good laws with effective enforcement and strong public education campaigns can – and do – modifications unsafe driving behaviors,” said NHTSA Acting Administrator David Friedman. “We will continue to work with our federal, state, and local partners to urge drivers to put down electronic devices and focus on the task of driving.”

Data released today from the distracted driving demonstration programs in California and Delaware show that effective advertising coupled with increased high-visibility police enforcement of distraction laws reduced hand-held phone use over a widespread area.

Over three enforcement waves, California police issued more than 10,700 tickets for violations involving drivers talking or texting on cell phones, and Delaware police issued more than 6,200 tickets. Observed hand-held cell phone use dropped by approximately a third at each program site, from 4.1 percent to 2.7 percent in California, and from 4.5 percent to 3.0 percent in Delaware.

Currently, 43 states, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands ban text messaging for drivers of all ages; 12 states, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands prohibit drivers of all ages from using hand-held cell phones while driving; and 37 states and D.C. ban cell phone use by novice drivers.

To prevent distracted driving, motorists are urged to:

  • Turn off electronic devices and put them out of reach before starting to drive.
  • Be good role models for young drivers and set a good example. Talk with your teens about responsible driving.
  • Speak up when you are a passenger and your driver uses an electronic device while driving. Offer to make the call for the driver, so his or her full attention stays on the driving task.
  • Always wear your seat belt. Seat belts are the best defense against other unsafe drivers.

Stay connected with NHTSA via: | | |

Share Button

Sign up for Email Updates

Share Button

NHTSA 08-14
Friday, March 14, 2014
Contact: Derrell Lyles, 202-366-9550,

WASHINGTON – As St. Patrick’s Day approaches, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is urging the public to rejoice responsibly and never drive drunk. According to the agency’s latest fatality data, 105 lives were lost in drunk driving crashes on this holiday in 2012.

The agency offers the succeeding safety tips if your plans incorporate drinking as part of your celebration:

  • Before the celebrations begin, plan a way to safely get home at the end of the night.
  • Designate a sober driver and leave your car keys at home, before drinking.
  • If you’re impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation to get home safely.
  • If available, use your community’s sober ride program.
  • If you are walking home be sure to obtain a sober friend walk with you.
  • If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact local police. You could save a life.
  • And remember, if you know people who are about to drive a vehicle or motorcycle while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.

If you are hosting a party:

  • Make sure all of your guests designate their sober drivers in advance, or help arrange alternate transportation.
  • Serve plenty of food and non-alcoholic beverages at the party.
  • Stop serving alcohol a few hours before the end of the party and begin serving coffee and dessert.
  • Keep the phone number of local cab companies on hand, take the keys away from anyone who is thinking of driving drunk and get them a cab ride home.
  • Remember, you can be held liable and prosecuted if someone you served ends up in a drunk-driving crash.
  • If an underage person drinks and drives, parents may be held liable for any damage, injury or death caused by the underage driver.
  • Likewise, parents or other adults who supply alcohol to, or host a party where alcohol is available to, those under age 21 could face jail time.

NOTE: NHTSA statistical data define the St. Patrick’s Day holiday as 6 a.m. March 16 to 5:59 a.m. March 18.

For information on NHTSA’s “Buzzed Driving is Drunk Driving Campaign” please visit, view the agency’s Facebook page, or follow the discussion on Twitter at

Stay connected with NHTSA via: | | |

Share Button

Sign up for Email Updates

Share Button

NHTSA 15-14
Friday, May 2, 2014
Contact: José Alberto Uclés, 202-366-9550,

Safe riding practices, helmet use and cooperation from all drivers will reduce fatalities and injuries on our nation’s highways

WASHINGTON – To kick off Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is reminding all drivers of cars, trucks and buses to look out for, and share the road with, motorcycle riders. A motorcyclist has the same rights, privileges, and responsibilities as any other motorist on the roadway.

“Motorcyclists will be out in force as the weather gets warmer, which is why May is the perfect month for Motorcycle Safety Awareness,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “Fatal crashes with motorcycles are on the rise. We all need to be more aware of motorcyclists in order to save lives and make sure we all ‘Share the Road’. ”

NHTSA statistics show an increase in motorcycle fatalities in recent years: in 2012, 4,927 motorcyclists were killed in traffic crashes, a continued increase from 2011 (4,630). Those deaths accounted for 15 percent of the total highway fatalities that year, despite motorcycle registrations representing only 3 percent of all cars in the United States in 2012. Injured motorcyclists also increased from 81,000 in 2011 to 93,000 in 2012. On a per vehicle mile basis, motorcyclists are more than 26 times more likely to die in a crash than occupants of cars, and five times more likely to be injured.

Helmet usage is also on the decline, dropping from 66 percent of motorcyclists wearing helmets in 2011 to only 60 percent in 2012. Head injury is the leading cause of death in motorcycle crashes. NHTSA estimates that 1,699 lives were saved in 2012 because of proper helmet usage, but another 781lives could obtain been saved if helmets had been worn. Nineteen states, the District of Columbia, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands obtain a universal helmet law, requiring helmets for all riders.

“Wearing a helmet on every ride is an decisive way for a motorcyclist to stay safe, but we all play a part. It’s up to all motorists and motorcyclists to make our roads safer,” said NHTSA Acting Administrator David Friedman. “All road users need to share the responsibility of keeping the roadways safe. By succeeding road signs, obeying speed limits, and always staying focused on the road, deaths could be prevented.”

Alcohol continues to be a factor in motorcycle fatalities. The percentage of motorcycle riders who were intoxicated in fatal crashes (27 percent) was greater than the percentage of intoxicated drivers of passenger cars (23 percent) and light trucks (22 percent) in fatal crashes in 2012. Also 29 percent of all fatally injured motorcycle riders had BAC levels of .08 or higher. The problem is especially acute at night. Motorcycle riders killed in traffic crashes at night were over 3 times (3.2) more likely to obtain BAC levels of .08 or higher than those killed during the day.

To prevent motorcyclist’s deaths and injuries, NHTSA offers the succeeding safety tips:

For motorcyclists:

  • Wear a DOT-compliant helmet and other protective gear.
  • Obey all traffic laws and be properly licensed.
  • Never ride distracted or impaired.
  • Use hand and turn signals at every lane modifications or turn.
  • Wear brightly colored clothes and reflective tape to increase visibility.
  • Ride in the middle of the lane where you will be more visible to drivers.
  • Avoid riding in poor weather conditions.

For drivers:

  • Allow the motorcycle the full width of a lane at all times.
  • Always signal when changing lanes or merging with traffic.
  • Check all mirrors and blind spots for motorcycles before changing lanes or merging with traffic, especially at intersections.
  • Always allow more follow distance – three to four seconds – when behind a motorcycle. This gives them more time to maneuver or stop in an emergency.
  • Never drive distracted or impaired.
  • Motorcycle signals are often non-canceling and could obtain been forgotten. Always ensure that the motorcycle is turning before proceeding.

For more information on motorcycle safety, visit

Stay connected with NHTSA via: | | |

Share Button

Breaking news of cities and towns