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Even if you drive one of the safest cars on the market and you always make sure your kids are correctly restrained in their car seats, there are dangers every parent and relative needs to consider. Terrible and preventable car related accidents and heat stroke cases kill a large number of children in the USA every year.
People don’t realize that a car in a driveway can be potentially deadly. Children are not aware of the danger of playing behind parked cars, and their size can make them impossible to be seen from your car’s blind spots, this can lead to a child being run over. Did you know that blind spots are a deadly flaw for most SUVs? There are also other potential dangers for children in and around a car: power windows, trunk entrapment, drowings, falls from motor vehicles, seatbelt strangulations, carbon monoxide poisoning, underage drivers… Remember to always keep an eye on your kids when there is a vehicle is present, and invest in the proper safety tools to help in case of an emergency!
Frontovers and backovers represent the two main causes of non-traffic fatalities for children age 15 and under. It happens when the driver is moving and doesn’t see the kids standing in the blind spots in the front and in the back of the car. Be aware that the “blind zone” and “blind spots” got their name for obvious reasons: they’re the area behind, on the side and in front of a vehicle that the driver cannot see from the driver’s seat – and will not see if there is a child in those zones. “Two children every week are dying because they can’t be seen behind these larger vehicles that we’re driving” said Janette Fennell, the president and founder of the education and advocacy organization KidsAndCars.org.
To prevent these fatal accidents, it is important to teach children not to play in or around cars. The driver should also walk around the vehicle before entering and roll down the windows so you can hear if there are children present. Blind-spot mirrors are also a great investment to increase safety.
Heat stroke represent 16% of all of non-traffic deaths. Each year, an average of 37 children die from heat-related deaths after being trapped inside vehicles. Science show that everyone is capable of unknowingly leaving a sleeping baby in a car; this can lead to injury or even death. Stress or distractions are the main reasons people forget their children inside the vehicle. When children are locked inside a car, temperatures quickly rise, and they can get heat stroke. Learn more about the science behind the phenomenon of children forgotten in cars here.
If you see a child or pet left in a hot car it is important that you call 911. If you believe that the child is in immediate danger you should try to break a window to save the child. This can be done with a car escape tool like the resqme. Learn what to do here.
This article is mainly based on the research by Kidsandcars.org. Prevention and awareness are key, so we proudly partnered with Kidsandcars.org and are working hard to create awareness, and stop these preventable deaths from happening. Support the cause and get your KidsAndCars resqme tool here.
Believe it or not, summer is winding down, and it’s time to start thinking about going back to school! To make the transition as easy as possible, we’ve got you covered with a fresh to-do list. We’ve covered it all and are here to help you get ready for a new year of student life.
So it’s Friday night, and you and your friends are going to a party, where there’s going to be a boatload of alcohol just waiting to be consumed. Of course, you would be chugging down drinks with the best of them, and your friends will be doing the exact same thing. The question is, how do you and your buddies plan to get home safely?
If you had a designated driver before leaving for the party, then you have done the smartest thing, second only to not drinking at all.
The Designated Drivers policy saves 50,000 lives each year
We all know how alcohol, even in small doses, affects the body. With alcohol’s effects on your vision, balance, hearing and reaction time, driving becomes a hazardous task. Alcohol affects also your mood, judgment, and reasoning. Driving under the influence of alcohol puts you, your passengers and other motorists and pedestrians at considerable risk. Over the years, drunk driving has claimed tens of thousands of lives all over the world.
Yes, drunk driving is clearly a social issue: according to Mothers Against Drunk Drivers, two-out-of-three people will be affected by drunk driving in their lifetime. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, an individual dies in a drunk driving accident every 53 minutes. This translates to 28 preventable deaths every single day.
The concept of a designated driver, however, has proven to be an effective way of preventing drunk driving. “The designated driver program asks that motorists always designate a driver when traveling after consuming alcohol or take a taxi. “Designate a driver” can be used anytime people plan to go out and drink alcoholic beverages ensuring a safe drive home.” 
With a sober person doing the driving for a bunch of inebriated people, getting involved in vehicular mishaps becomes less likely. As a matter of fact, statistics show that designated drivers save 50,000 lives each year.
Who gets to be designated driver?
The group as a whole often decides who gets to be the designated driver. In most cases, designated driving assignments are revolving ones, with members of that group taking turns as to who would not drink a drop of booze at a party so he or she can drive everyone home safely.
If you’re an alcohol drinker, becoming a designated driver entails a certain amount of commitment and sacrifice. Admittedly, seeing everyone have a grand time at any gathering, with you on the sidelines just waiting for the party to end, can be tough. However, ensuring that you and your friends make it home without incident is quite rewarding by itself. Many consider designated drivers heroic not only because they save lives, but also because of the sacrifices they have to make. However, if no one in your group wants to be designated driver, it is also all right to just decide to pay somebody to drive all of you home.
Drunk driving and government action : the Swedish example
When it comes to saving lives, it’s always a good idea to look at what’s going on better elsewhere.
Sweden is probably one of the best example of what it takes to save lives on the roads: the Driving Under the Influence laws there are some of the toughest in the world. In 1997 the Swedish parliament wrote into law a “Vision Zero” plan, promising to eliminate road fatalities and injuries altogether. They simply do not accept any deaths or injuries on their roads. The country lowered its legal limit from .05 to .02 twenty years ago and they’re seeing results. Stopping drunk-driving isn’t just up to police in Sweden: some restaurants and bars give free non-alcoholic drinks to designated drivers, while citizens often call to report drunk drivers. Furthermore, if the police stop a repeat offender, they will seize his car, which will be sold or scrapped. According to that, Sweden’s roads have become the world’s safest, with only three of every 100,000 Swedes dying on the roads each year, compared with 5.5 per 100,000 across the European Union, and 11.4 in America.
In the United States, all states define driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at or above .08 as a crime, but specific laws and penalties vary substantially from state to state. A PDF chart of state drunk driving laws is available for download here.
+ To know what you can do to prevent drunk driving, check out this infographic provided by the Arizona DUI Team.
At resqme, Inc, we are always open to building partnerships to raise awareness about personal and road safety. Our vision reaches far beyond being a supplier of safety tools, and we are often asked to support Foundations with a similar cause. A noteworthy example is the Ashley Neufeld Memorial Fund which was created after 21-year old Ashley died because her car sunk in a lake.
Recently, we came across a segment on NBC News to honor a Foundation created in the memory of Matthew Salenieks, who died in a car that sank. We then contacted Jamie Fenster, who was very close to him and a Board Member of the Foundation. We feel compelled to share this story, by supporting a Foundation that promotes lifesaving tips and our resqme tool, and saves lives in danger.
On December, 19th 2015, Matthew Salenieks and his best friend David Dodds were driving home when they got into a car accident. They hit a tree as they were making a turn on a very narrow bridge over a watery canal. The car flipped upside down and landed in the water. The 24 and 25 year old young men both drowned in a 6-inches deep canal of mud and water.
How could two young men, who were in perfect physical condition, stay trapped in a sinking car and be unable to escape? This tragedy pushed Jamie and her daughter Emilee Fenster, two good friends of Matthew, to find answers. They started browsing the Internet, going through video after video. They came upon a story about the resqme® tool, a tool that allows you to escape from a sinking car by breaking a side window. “We noticed that a lot of people have supported and promoted the resqme products, like journalists and scientists. We thought we had to get them”.
Emilee, who was very close to Matt, decided to give away the tool to every driver at her high school: “it could save a life”, she said. But the funds were insufficient. So, a few months after buying her first resqme tool, she and Jamie decided to sell them and do the best they could with the income they got from their sales. “We decided to take the money that we made and put every penny into a Memorial Foundation”.
In honor of the young men, they then founded the non-profit Matthew Salenieks Memorial Foundation which supports high-school seniors who have financial needs in achieving their goal of becoming an engineer. It is a poignant way to keep the memory of Matt alive, since he was an engineer himself. “He was an amazing guy. We feel that we are honoring him the best as we can.”
So far, the Matthew Salenieks Memorial Foundation has given away its first $1500 scholarship and will give away the next one next year, thanks to some significant donations from friends and family members, and 125 resqme® tool sales. Jamie, Paul (Matt’s Dad) and Natasha (Matt’s sister) are Board Members of the Matthew Salenieks Memorial Foundation, and would like to increase the scholarship to $5000, reaching more schools in addition to Emilee’s high school, who will become a Board Member on her 18th birthday. When resqme, Inc. found out about their cause, they reached out to Jamie to support her, by providing the best price possible: “resqme has been very generous” she said. When asking “Why the resqme® tool?” Jamie answered: “The resqme® was the right product to try to raise awareness for people, especially here in Florida, since we have so many canals. Matt didn’t have a chance… We want to get the tool into everyone’s hands and cars so they can have a chance!”
If you want to support the Matthew Salenieks Memorial Foundation and help young people become tomorrow’s engineers, please email email@example.com.
Together, we can save more lives!