In June we celebrate national safety month. Unintentional injury is the number one cause of death for people ages 1-44. Provided are some basics about how to avoid injury, focusing on what we have seen on campus or are common sources of injury. Here are some tips to keep you and others safe from riding a bike, playing sports, drinking and driving.
Scooter and bike safety: We have all seen Lime and Bird scooters on campus and around town, several of us have ridden them. They are fun and convenient, but just like riding a bike or non-motorized scooter they do come with a risk of injury. Here are some tips to avoid or decrease the severity of injuries on scooters and bikes:
- Always follow helmet laws, which is to say, wear a helmet.
- Do a pre-ride safety check.
- Apply brakes to slow down/stop.
- Always follow traffic laws.
- Be mindful of road obstructions.
- Use hand signals when turning or stopping.
- Park properly by the curbside.
- Also, know you can be charged with a DUI, if intoxicated while operating a scooter like the Lime or Bird.
Sports injury prevention: It’s not just for athletes. If you are participating in sports or physical activity in any way these are the basics that will help with injury prevention:
- Wear appropriate protective gear, ie. Helmets, pads, shin guards, etc.
- Warm up and cool down.
- Know the rules of the game.
- Watch out for others.
- Don’t play when injured.
- Check equipment and make sure it is in good condition, to include checking your shoes.
- Use good technique.
Intoxication injury prevention
- Do not operate any motorized vehicles: cars, scooters, motorcycles, etc: If you know you will be drinking, even as few as 2 drinks, designate a driver or plan to use a service such as Uber or Lyft.
- Do not drink and work with tools or machinery.
- Avoid beer bongs, chugging, and drinking games.
- Set a limit and stick to it.
- Alternate water with alcoholic beverages.
- Don’t drink on an empty stomach.
- Never leave your drinks unattended or accept an open beverage.
- Do not combine alcohol and drug use.
- Avoid binge drinking, which is typically considered when a man drinks 5 or more drinks or a woman drinks 4 or more drinks in one sitting. It is associated with an increase in injuries related to car crashes, falls, burns and alcohol poisoning.
In 2016, 23,714 drivers and passengers died in motor vehicle crashes. More than half of the people between the ages 13-44, who died in crashes, were not buckled up. In addition to deaths, 2.6 million drivers and passengers were treated in emergency departments as the result of being injured in motor vehicle crashes, with young adults (ages 18-24) have the highest crash-related non-fatal injury rates of adults. Here are a few facts:
- Seatbelts reduce injuries and death by half
- Seatbelts saved almost 15,000 lives
- It is illegal to drive or ride in a car without a seatbelt
- Use a seatbelt every time and require everyone in the car to wear one
- Men are less likely than women to wear a seatbelt
- People in non-metropolitan areas are less likely to wear seatbelts than adults who live in metropolitan areas
- Follow guidelines to buckle up safely: lap belt and shoulder belt are secured across the pelvis and rib cage; place should belt across the middle of your chest and away from your neck; lap belt rests across your hips, not your stomach; NEVER put the shoulder belt behind your back or under an arm.