- Briefing Room
U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day
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Thursday, October 10th , marks the second annual "Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day," sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation. The goal, to unite the country in achieving one full day of zero traffic deaths on our nation's roadways. Jane Luders has this report:
Since 1992, the number of traffic fatalities have hovered around 41,000 to 42,000 annually. That's about 115 fatalities every single day - one every 13 minutes.
On Thursday, October 10, The U.S. Department of Transportation will ask Americans nationwide to participate in the second annual "Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day" to encourage the public to take a greater stand in keeping themselves and their loved ones from becoming one of those statistics. Federal Highway Administrator Mary Peters:
"America's roadway system is among the safest in the world. We have come a long way in reducing fatalities and injuries on our nation's highways by focusing efforts in three areas - the driver, vehicle and roadway. Vehicles are safer today with equipment like seat belts and child safety seats. Educational programs and improved laws have lead to improved driver responsibility. Here at FHWA, we have focused on roadway safety improvements, including more visible pavement markings and signs, skid resistant pavement, rumble strips and safer roadway shoulders. We know that sometimes mistakes are made while driving and we want to do everything we can to make sure they aren't fatal mistakes. Our progress in these areas can only take us so far. At the end of the day, every driver and passenger must also take personal responsibility for safety."
Motor vehicle fatalities are the leading cause of death for all Americans between the ages of six and thirty-three years. Peters says that "Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day" gives everyone the opportunity to focus on safety, as a motorist, pedestrian or cyclist.
"We believe the goals of the program are worth striving for. First and foremost, each and every time you drive do so as if your life depends on it. It does! Drive defensively, obey the posted speed limits and traffic signals, and never, ever drink and drive. Pay attention to school zones, weather conditions and highway work zones. Buckle up every time, on every trip and use appropriately installed child safety seats. These examples are just a few of the ways we can take a personal responsibility and reduce the chance of being in a crash."
Additional information and a list of participating organizations are on the Internet at www.brakesonfatalities.org.