NHTSA 41-13
Friday, December 20, 2013
Contact: Kathryn Henry, 202-366-9550, Public.Affairs@dot.gov


WASHINGTON – Now that winter weather has arrived across most of the nation, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reminds holiday travelers to take a few safety precautions for safe travels for the remainder of 2013 and throughout the New Year. In particular, NHTSA urges motorists to ensure that all vehicles are in optimal driving condition and properly equipped, especially in inclement weather.

  • Ensure your vehicle is road-worthy – No one wants their car to break down in any season, but especially not in cold or snowy winter weather. Start the season off right by ensuring your vehicle is in optimal condition. Motorists can cruise NHTSA's interactive safety landscape to reveal tips and friendly reminders on winter driving measures to get to their destination safely.
  • Don't drink and drive – Last year, in the month of December alone, 830 people lost their lives due to drunk driving. Be responsible and don't drink and drive. If you plan to drink, choose a designated driver before going out.
  • Protect child passengers - If you're traveling with children, remember the best way to protect them in the car is to put them in the right child safety seat, and use it the right way. All children 13 and younger should ride in the back seat.
  • Don’t drive distracted – Put your phone away when driving. Distracted driving can be anything that pulls your attention away from driving, including cell phone use, texting while driving, eating, drinking, and using in-vehicle technologies and portable electronic devices. According to NHTSA data from 2012, 10 percent of fatal crashes and 18 percent of injury crashes were distraction-related.
  • Avoid the “No Zone” – There are areas around large trucks and buses where you can’t be seen. Crashes are more likely to occur in these No Zones. It is critical that all motorists share the road safely with large trucks and buses by giving them plenty of space to maneuver. Avoid lingering in blind spots, following too closely or making sudden or erratic lane changes.
  • Buckle seat belts – All drivers and passengers should wear seat belts every time when traveling in a vehicle. Wearing a seat belt is one of the best defenses to prevent injury and death in a crash – and it remains your best defense against a drunk driver.

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