Saturday, November 14, 2009

Epidemics - The Swine Flu, Traffic Deaths, and Keep Kids Alive Drive 25

5000 Americans have died in the past 9 months from H1N1 - the swine flu - according to data collected by the Centers for Disease Controls. Clearly, from all accounts, an epidemic is unfolding.

During this same period of time, over 27,000 American daughters, sons, mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends have died on our roadways. Yet, where are the lead stories and headlines proclaiming that an epidemic ending in death for many thousands of our loved ones happens on our streets each day? Where is the outrage? Where is the resolve to address this epidemic and to drive down the numbers of those dying in traffic incidents?

We commit millions, and perhaps billions, of dollars in resources to educate citizens about what can be done to avoid contracting, or to be inoculated against, the flu virus. Can we similarly commit to educating and engaging citizens in behaviors that protect themselves, and all of us, from injury and death on the road?

5000 lives lost represent tragedy and heartbreak for every family who has experienced the death of a loved one. 27,000 deaths ought to move us beyond tears and into action Keep Kids Alive Drive 25® is a part of the solution. You can be an integral part of putting an end to death and destruction on streets in your community by:
  • Remembering, “Seat Belts-FASTENATING!®” Buckle up everyone, every trip, every time. Ask and answer the questions, "Who do you love?" and "Who loves you?" Answering these questions provides the best reasons we will ever have for buckling up.
  • Obeying the speed limit, and adjust downward upon the presence of children, pedestrians of all ages, and bicyclists.
  • Observing Stop! Take 3 To See® at every Stop sign - that is, come to a complete stop, look left, look right (for both vehicles and pedestrians), and look left again. Make sure the coast really is clear before proceeding. Remember, 200 pedestrian deaths and over 17,000 injuries occur each year as a result of Stop-sign running.
  • Remembering, "It’s Not A Race! Create Space©." 29% of crashes occur because drivers do not leave enough space between themselves and the vehicle in front of them. Use the 4 second rule to help you maintain enough space. Find a fixed object ahead - a pole, a bridge. Note when the vehicle in front of you passes this object. Then count one-thousand one, one-thousand two, one thousand three, one thousand four. If you pass that object before you count to one thousand four, adjust your speed to create more space. Space is our friend on the road. Having enough space within which to react could save lives - even your own.
  • Observing all traffic signals and signs. Make a habit of doing so. This along with good space management will reduce the number of crashes, and subsequently the number of injuries and deaths.
  • Not using your cell phone while driving. Deaths occur each day because of "Cell-a-brating" while driving, or by driving while "Intexticated." Pull over to a parking lot if you must have that conversation or send that text. Your life, and the lives of others around you, are worth this small sacrifice.

To sum up, " Be Aware! Drive With Care®." Each and every action we take behind the wheel can indeed be a matter of life and death. Learn more about what you can do at

And, remember the wisdom of David Townsend, whose 10 year-old daughter Tia was hit and killed because a driver could not be bothered with stopping at a marked crosswalk to allow her and a friend to cross unharmed (and actually pulled around a stopped car in order to get by).

"Don't let the two minutes you save be the last two minutes of someone's life."

Safe motoring!
Tom Everson
Founder - Keep Kids Alive Drive 25® – A Non-Profit “For Action” Organization

Keep Kids Alive Drive 25® and related logos and slogans (Be Aware! Drive With Care®, Check Your Speed®/No Need To Speed®, Stop! Take 3 To See®, Stop Means Stop®, Seat Belts-FASTENATING!®, and It’s Not A Race! Create Space©) are registered trademarks/copyrights of Keep Kids Alive Drive 25, P.O. Box 45563 Omaha, Nebraska, 68145. No other entities may use these or similar marks without prior permission. Call 402-334-1391 for information.

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