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NHTSA 26-14
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
Contact: Derrell Lyles, 202-366-9550, Public.Affairs@dot.gov


NHTSA reminds parents, caregivers, kids & drivers to think safe, ride safe, be safe!


WASHINGTON – The final ring of school bells across America means kids are ready for summer fun with family car trips, bike rides with friends and playing on neighborhood streets. With millions of children out of school, the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is reminding everyone about safety tips to keep kids and everyone else safe this time of year.

"The Department of Transportation wants to make sure children, young people, and their families have wonderful summer experiences and memories, so we are reminding everyone of the simple tips that will help keep them safe," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. "Whether in the car, riding a bike or walking down the street, they can help prevent thousands of needless deaths and injuries."

"Summertime is when we should all be more aware of the deadly danger of heatstroke and to never, ever leave a child alone in a vehicle," added NHTSA Acting Administrator David Friedman. "Even on a mild summer day, the temperatures in a vehicle can rise rapidly to levels high enough to kill a child left in a car, even if the windows are left cracked."

To prevent deaths and injuries, NHTSA offers the following safety tips:

Heatstroke
  • Never leave a child alone in a car.
  • Look before you lock: Make a habit of looking in the vehicle – front and back – before locking the door and walking away.
  • Remember your precious cargo: Do things that serve as a reminder that a child is in the vehicle, such as placing a phone, purse or briefcase in the back seat to ensure no child is accidentally left in the vehicle, or writing a note to indicate a child is in the car seat.
  • Act to save a child's life: If you see a child alone in a vehicle on a warm day, immediately call 911.
  • A child in distress due to heat should be removed from the vehicle as quickly as possible and rapidly cooled.
  • Teach children that a vehicle is not a play area, lock car doors and store keys out of a child's reach.
Pedestrian Safety
  • When crossing the street, look left-right-left for cars; do not cross if a car is coming; and use a cross walk if they are available.
  • Teach children to walk, not run, across the street.
  • Children should cross only with an adult or an older, responsible child.
  • Teach children to avoid running out from between parked cars.
  • Use sidewalks whenever possible and, if there is none, walk facing traffic.
  • Always hold your child's hand near any moving or parked vehicles.
Bicycle Safety
  • Always wear a proper fitting helmet and make sure to buckle the chin strap.
  • Ride on bike paths or on the sidewalk.
  • If you ride along streets make sure they have low traffic volume and lower speeds.
  • Always ride in the same direction as traffic, and stop at all stop signs and signals.
  • Never use headphones or cell phones while riding.
Helmet Safety
  • An appropriate helmet must be worn whenever a child is "on wheels." This means bicycles, scooters, skates, rollerblades, skateboards, and more.
  • Motorcycle helmets save lives, never ride without one.
Driver Safety
  • Parents should lead by example; have everyone buckle up, every seat, every trip, every time.
  • Children should always ride in the back seat, secured in a properly installed child safety seat, booster seat or seat belt, appropriate for their height or weight.
  • Always walk around your vehicle before you get in it and back out of a driveway or parking spot, and check blind spots for children or adults.
  • Be especially attentive around neighborhoods where children are active.
  • Be on the lookout for pedestrians, and stop at crosswalks or where pedestrians are crossing.
  • Be courteous to bicyclists and motorcycle riders. Give full width of a lane at all times.
  • Always check mirrors and signal when changing lanes or merging with traffic.
  • Obey traffic lights, signs and posted speed limits.
  • Never walk, bike or drive impaired or distracted. Focus on the road always.

Road users and everyone needs to share the responsibility of keeping children safe this summer and throughout the year.

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