Motor Vehicle Safety

Motor vehicle accidents are one of the top causes of injury-related hospitalizations and deaths among people of all ages. Driving safely should be your number one concern behind the wheel to keep yourself, your passengers, and others on the road safe.

  • Buckle up. Whether the journey is 1 mile or 1,000 miles, ensure that you and all of your passengers are properly restrained. For older children, teens and adults, that means you should fasten your seat belts. Children should be in the appropriate car seat for their age, weight, height and developmental level – see Child Passenger Safety.
  • Don’t speed. Speeding is a factor in nearly 1/3 of all fatal motor vehicle crashes. Reducing your speed greatly improves your ability to maintain control of your vehicle and gives you more time and distance to avoid a collision. If you cannot avoid a collision, vehicle speed at impact determines the severity of the crash. The higher your speed, the lower your chances of survival. 
  • Keep a safe distance. Slow down and allow increased distance between vehicles during rain, ice, snow, and other conditions impacting your vision and/or ability to stop.
  • Drive sober. Operating a vehicle while impaired by alcohol or other drugs is not only against the law; it can also lead to poor judgement and delayed responses, which significantly increases your chances for a crash. Choose a sober designated driver before you start drinking. If you're feeling buzzed, you likely are over the 0.08 limit and should not drive. 
  • Keep distractions at bay. Put your phone on “Do not disturb” while driving. From texting to grooming yourself in the mirror, it only takes a split second for distracted driving to become deadly for you or others.
  • If riding a motorcycle, make sure you have the appropriate skills, knowledge, and potentially additional licensure, and wear a helmet and other protective gear. Motorcycles do not have the additional safety features of passenger cars, such as air bags and seat belts. Motorcyclists are about 27 times as likely as passenger car occupants to die in a motor vehicle traffic crash. Learn more about motorcycle safety.