Summer Vehicle Safety Ramps Up in May

Child hyperthermia deaths in vehicles typically rise this month, and the annual Click It or Ticket campaign opens around the Memorial Day holiday weekend.

An excellent online page devoted to child hyperthermia deaths from being left inside motor vehicles tells us an average of 38 such fatalities occur nationwide each year, and at least 527 have been recorded in the United States since 1998 –- including 80 in Texas alone.

Two deaths already have occurred in 2012. June, July, and August are the months when the most fatalities occur, but they begin to ramp up in May.

Jan Null, CCM, of the San Francisco State University Department of Geosciences maintains the site.

NHTSA fact sheets in English and Spanish about heatstroke of children left inside vehicles are available here.

Paired with the Memorial Day weekend advent of the summer driving season, the site reminds us that May is an important month on the safety calendar. Mothers Against Drunk Driving's blog recently offered five Memorial Day road rules from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to help motorists stay safe during the holiday weekend. The annual Click It or Ticket national seat belt enforcement campaign also begins close to Memorial Day; it is set for May 21 through June 3 this year, bracketing the May 25-28 holiday period.

The NHTSA safe driving tips are:

1. Avoid alcohol.

2. Keep your tires properly inflated.

3. Check your windshield to make sure your view is clear.

4. Never leave kids unattended.

5. Rest up to stay alert while driving.

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