NTSB Advises Traveling with Caution during Independence Day Weekend

National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Mark V. Rosenker is reminding all Americans the Independence Day Weekend should be a time for celebration with friends and family, not a time to visit the emergency room because someone didn't take prudent and easy precautions when traveling.

"The easiest and most effective safety precaution you can take this weekend--and every weekend--is to wear your safety belt when in a motor vehicle," Rosenker said. "Thousands of Americans die every year, and many more thousands are injured, because they failed to secure that belt. In fact, more than half of automobile occupants who die in crashes are unrestrained."

Other safety measures everyone should remember are:

  • Do not drink and drive. Make sure you have a designated driver to take you home if you consume alcohol.
  • Make sure that babies and young children are properly restrained in child safety seats or booster seats appropriate to their size and that they ride in the back seat.
  • When engaging in recreational boating, a popular pastime during the summer months, wear a personal flotation device (PFD) and, again, do not operate a boat if you have consumed alcohol.

Increasing seat belt usage, eliminating drinking and driving, and requiring PFDs for children on boats are issues on NTSB's List of Most Wanted Safety Improvements.

NTSB has issued safety alerts reminding people that safety should be the first priority. These and other Board safety alerts can be found on NTSB's Web site at www.ntsb.gov/alerts/alerts.htm.

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