The recommendation is based on a systematic review of all available studies that was conducted by scientists and subject matter experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Rudolph, Full Power!

Old Saint Nick is trying to travel safely this Christmas, as are we all.

The National Safety Council estimated 261 Americans will die in traffic accidents during this holiday season, from 6 p.m. on Dec. 24 through 11:59 p.m. Jan. 1, 2014, with more of these accidents during the New Year's Eve period. Don't be one of them.

PPE and more will help Santa and his team make their 2013 around-the-world trip a safe one.Just as Santa must prepare carefully for a safe worldwide trip each year, NSC reminds us that preparation is the key to being safe while traveling this season and during holiday parties, if we’re attending them.

For example:

  • If you're "just a little buzzed," don't drive.
  • Designate a non-drinking driver.
  • Refuse a drive from any impaired driver, and don't be embarrassed about it.
  • Wear your seat belt every time during every trip. Your children will learn this smart, safe behavior from your example.

NSC estimates 105 traffic fatalities will occur in the United States during the Christmas holiday period and 156 more will occur during the New Year's period. The New Year's period has the highest average percentage of alcohol-impaired traffic deaths, as well, which is why traffic safety enforcement agencies are very active during these periods.

The American Automobile Association has estimated 94.5 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home during this holiday season, a 0.6 percent increase from a year ago.

CDC has posted tips for avoiding problems while driving in wintry conditions. Have maintenance service done on your vehicle as often as the manufacturer recommends, it says, and every fall, do these:

  • Have the radiator system serviced or check the antifreeze level yourself with an antifreeze tester. Add antifreeze as needed.
  • Replace windshield wiper fluid with a wintertime mixture.
  • Replace worn tires, make sure the tires have adequate tread, and check the air pressure in the tires.
  • During winter, keep the gas tank near full to help avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines
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