Decade of Action for Road Safety

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A monthly publication of the Network of Employers for Traffic Safety

December 15, 2014         Summaries of timely road safety news, events, and alerts


Biggest hazard of holiday shopping: The parking lot

Source: Property Casualty 360°, December 4, 2014

The three weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas are the busiest shopping times of the year. The stores and malls are more crowded which means the parking lots are as well. And that means an increased risk of auto accidents. AAA has some great tips on how to survive those holiday shopping expeditions, including:

  • Head for the side door, not the main entrance--most malls have several entrances farther away that are likely to be less crowded. Choose one of these and you'll find less traffic and more convenient spaces.
  • Aim for the outfield. Outlying areas have more spaces, lighter traffic and a lower risk of collision. Plus, a little extra walking can be good for us, especially with all the holiday treats around.

For the complete list of holiday parking lot survival tips, see the full article here:

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx joins safety advocates from 30 countries to promote global road safety for children

Source: SafeKids Worldwide, December 12, 2014

Road safety is a global epidemic that is not getting nearly the attention it deserves. That was the message from leaders from more than 30 countries around the world, who met this week for a summit on global road safety to collaborate on efforts to enhance the safety of children on the roads. Every day around the world, more than 500 children are killed on or around roads, and tens of thousands are injured, with too many suffering lifelong disabilities. Children living in poorer nations are most at risk as more than 90% of child road traffic deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries. The Safe Roads/Safe Kids Global Road Safety Summit was designed to build a high-level movement of partners from all levels, including international organizations, governments, corporations, foundations, nongovernmental organizations, families and children, to significantly enhance the visibility of global road safety on the international health and development agenda and to reduce morbidity and mortality for children. To see the full article, go to:

NTSB recommends better sleep disorder screening

Source: Associated Press, November 19, 2014

Federal regulators who concluded that an engineer's sleep apnea caused a deadly train derailment in New York adopted several recommendations recently for better screening of such disorders, including a call for improved physician training. A Dec. 1 derailment that killed four people in the Bronx is part of a rising trend in accidents in passenger rail. The NTSB said last month that the engineer had fallen asleep at the controls because he had a severe, undiagnosed case of sleep apnea. Apnea robs its victims of rest because they are repeatedly awakened as their airway closes and their breathing stops. Two of the NTSB recommendations went to the American College of Physicians and the American Academy of Family Physicians, asking the doctors' groups to enhance training so physicians can better "identify the risk factors for, evaluate and effectively treat obstructive sleep apnea." To see the full article, go to:

Senior drivers support tougher driving laws for themselves

Source: AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety via PR Newswire, December 1, 2014

While senior drivers favor tougher driving laws, from bans on wireless devices to ignitions interlocks for first time DUI offenders, an overwhelming majority support greater scrutiny in the license-renewal process for themselves and their peers, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety's latest report on aging Americans. More than seven out of 10 drivers age 65 and older favor policies that require drivers age 75 and older to renew their license in person and also support requirements that seniors pass a medical screening to remain licensed. The AAA Foundation's report, Older American Drivers and Traffic Safety Culture also found:

  • Nearly 80% of drivers over age 75 favor medical screenings for drivers ages 75 and older
  • Nearly 90% of older drivers (65 and older) reported no crashes in the last two years
  • Similarly, 90% of older drivers reported no moving violations
  • 65% of drivers age 75 and older reported never using a cell phone while driving compared to only 48% of the younger "older" drivers (those age 65-69) who never use a phone when behind the wheel

"With nearly nine out of ten seniors aged 65 and older still driving, it appears that additional years behind the wheel not only make drivers older, but wiser," said Jake Nelson, AAA's director of traffic safety advocacy and research. "As older adults live longer and spend more time behind the wheel, it's promising to see a trend towards a more pro-safety culture with increasing age." To see the full news release, go to:

To see the full report, go to:

Drivers talk on cell phones less but surf, e-mail more

Source: USA Today, November 18, 2014

Despite nearly a decade-long national fight against distracted driving, the percentage of drivers engaging in smart phone-related activities behind the wheel has steadily increased over the past six years, a new study shows. State Farm has conducted an annual survey since 2009 to measure drivers' attitudes and behaviors related to distracted driving. Over that period, the percentage of drivers who report talking on a hand-held cell phone while driving has decreased, and those who admit to texting behind the wheel has remained stable. But some equally risky behaviors have increased significantly. The percentage of drivers who acknowledge accessing the Internet while driving has doubled, from 13% in 2009 to 26% this year. Similarly, in 2009, 15% said they read email while driving; 25% admitted doing so this year. The share of drivers who say they read social media networks such as Twitter behind the wheel rose from 9% in 2009 to 20% this year. To see the full article, go to:

Motorcycle ABS benefits both high-risk and low-risk riders

Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, November 20, 2014

Antilock braking systems (ABS) can benefit both risk-taking motorcycle riders and those who are more cautious on the road, a new analysis suggests. What's more, high-risk riders are no less likely to opt for a bike equipped with the technology than those who appear less risky based on their auto claims record. Previous studies have reported that the technology substantially lowers rates of collision claims and fatal crashes. Those studies looked at motorcycles with optional ABS, comparing the crash rates of those equipped with ABS with the same models without the feature. One limitation of that approach is that it's difficult to account for all the differences between riders who choose to purchase an ABS-equipped bike and those who don't. Although key variables like age and gender as well as motorcycle models are controlled for, a question left unanswered is whether people who value safety might be more inclined to spend money on ABS and also more likely to ride safely, thereby skewing the results. To see the full article, go to:

Survey says: Marijuana and driving don't mix

Source: (Washington State), December 8th, 2014

A new survey of drivers shows 7 out of 10 have used marijuana and almost half of those have recently driven within a couple of hours after marijuana use. If you or someone you know uses marijuana and drives while high, beware—extra DUI patrols are happening statewide this Holiday season between now and January 1, 2015. According to preliminary results of a June survey measuring driver impairment on Washington's roads, nearly 90% of those same drivers said they did not think marijuana degraded their driving ability, despite research showing that driving while high doubles your chance of killing yourself or others in a crash. In fact, 25% of those respondents felt that driving while high made them a better driver. From 2009 through 2013, more than 1000 people died in impaired driving collisions in Washington. Impaired driving is involved in nearly half of all traffic deaths and more than 20% of serious injury collisions. To see the full article, go to:

Winter weather dilemma: Balancing salt, safety

Source: USA Today, December 13 2014

Road salt's short supply and rising prices — up to 30% higher than last year — are prompting new, more sustainable solutions to keep the streets clear in winter. While road salt is commonly used to de-ice roadways, it has a high impact on infrastructure, vehicles and, most importantly, the environment. "By the time you can see salt on the road, it's way too much and is going into the vegetation and groundwater," says Xianming Shi, a Washington State University associate professor and assistant director of the new Center for Environmentally Sustainable Transportation in Cold Climates. In addition to the added expense, too much salt also increases the likelihood it will get into drinking water supplies, among other hazards. While piling on salt may have the best intentions of keeping the public safe in the immediate, the long-term ramifications of such procedures haven't been examined properly, Shi says. To see the full article, go to:

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States dialing up tougher driving rules

Source: USA Today, December 2, 2014

Texting while driving will get you a ticket in communities across the USA. But a growing number of states and cities are going further with new rules that raise the penalties or broaden the bans. A law went into effect Oct. 1 in Vermont banning any handheld phone use — the state already had prohibitions against texting and driving. That same day saw Maryland's "Jake's Law" take effect, stiffening the penalties for drivers who cause crashes while on their phones. And stiffer fines for talking or texting on a handheld device while driving went into effect in July in New Jersey. As of Nov. 1, New York State stiffened the penalties for texting while driving for drivers under the age of 21, with the first offense resulting in a 120-day license suspension and a second offense within six months resulting in the loss of their license for a year. It also raised the maximum first offense fine from $150 to $200. To see the full article, go

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Concerned family members don't talk to older relatives about their driving

Source: Insurance News Net, December 2, 2014

Almost half of adults concerned about an older relative's driving have not talked to their older relative about their concerns, according to a new survey from The Hartford. In addition, 40% of adults with concerns have not observed their older relative's driving by being a passenger in their car. Common reasons cited by the people with concerns about an older relative's driving are: Medical or health issues (47%); Family member/friend mentioned it (25%); Driving incident or accident (25%); and Older driver expressed concern over driving tasks (20%). While older drivers prefer to hear from relatives about their driving ability, some family members may disagree on whether there is cause for concern. The study found that just over half (52%) say all siblings or other family members agree on whether there is cause for concern. To see the full article, go to:

Minivans with a major flaw: 3 models have dire small overlap results

Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, November 20, 2014

A group of four minivans recently tested by the Institute for protection in small overlap front crashes shows some of the worst possible outcomes for this type of crash, with only one vehicle performing acceptably. The Nissan Quest, the Chrysler Town & Country and its twin, the Dodge Grand Caravan, all earn poor ratings. The exception to the disappointing pattern is the 2015 Toyota Sienna, which earns an acceptable rating. It joins the Honda Odyssey, which last year earned a good rating in the small overlap crash test, in the ranks of Top Safety Pick+ award winners. In the small overlap test, which replicates what happens when the front corner of a vehicle collides with another vehicle or an object such as a tree or a utility pole, the crash forces bypass the vehicle's main energy-absorbing structure. These crashes may be especially difficult for minivans to handle because minivans are typically built on car platforms but are wider than cars. As a result, more of the vehicle is located outside the main structure. To see the full article, go to:

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The future of accident reporting

Property Casualty 360 (Blog post), December 8, 2014

The connected car is with us for good. You only need to log onto automotive web pages or those of USA Today or the New York Times to see the almost daily announcements by one auto manufacturer or another regarding ever-changing vehicle technology. What you don't see much of is "what does that mean" for the claims and collision repair segments? Certainly opportunities exist to streamline the process and make it a better experience for all. If we look at this in more detail, then I can see a future claims and repair workflow very different from today. I can also see new entrants into the market who will have a different perspective on how to "manage" claims and a radically different business model. For instance, with all of these sensors in vehicles these days and the vehicles' ever increasing ability to communicate with external parties, how would a future look where the car made the claim? Think about it. On impact, the data received from the vehicle in real time could begin the claims and repair process instantly. To see the full article, go to:

Fleet safety video tip: Driving in icy conditions

Source: Automotive Fleet, December 8, 2014

This is the time of year when roads that appear to be dry may actually be covered in ice. Freezing rain can make a road as slippery as a hockey rink. That's why fleet drivers need to slow down during freezing temperatures, particularly when approaching intersections, off-ramps, bridges or shady areas where black ice can easily form. Even if no snow or ice is visible, drivers can't let down their guard. Maintaining or recovering traction in such conditions requires razor-sharp attention and quick responses. A video produced by the Michigan State Police offers some driving tips for icy conditions. See the full article and access the video

Simple advice for driving whilst under the influence of drugs or alcohol: DON'T DO IT!


Driving requires skill and concentration at all times. Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol impairs judgment and increases the risk of accidents. In most countries, there are strict rules on how much alcohol you can drink when in the driving seat and there is an increasing focus on how drugs also affect driving ability. The advice is simple: DO NOT DRIVE while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Find out how drink and drugs affect your driving ability and what you can do to ensure that you stay safe on the road. What are the risks of drink or drug driving? Whether you are caught driving whilst under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the results will be the same. Depending on local law and the levels of drink or drugs found, you could face an accident leading to injury or even death, living with the guilt of having caused injury or death to others, a prison sentence, a large fine and the loss of your driving license. To minimize risks, the straight-forward advice is to refrain from driving after drinking alcohol or taking drugs. To see the full article, go to:

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Innovation and Technology

New car technologies still working out the kinks, says AAA assessment

Source: AAA, December 9, 2014

AAA's Automotive Engineering experts are confident new advanced driver assistance technologies like blind-spot monitoring and lane-departure warning systems have great potential to keep drivers safer, as long as motorists are aware of system limitations. As part of AAA's auto technology series, these two systems were recently evaluated. While the systems performed effectively in multiple situations, this evaluation uncovered scenarios where the systems failed to perform as expected. This included delayed warnings by the blind-spot monitoring technologies and lane-departure warning systems failing to track the lane under certain road conditions. Pros and cons aside, motorists will encounter advanced driver assistance technology as automakers cascade these devices across vehicle lines. Being aware of these systems and understanding how they operate is a necessary step before driving the vehicle. To see the full article, go to:

Goodyear's self-inflating truck tires undergoing testing in North America

Source:, December, 4, 2014

Truck fleets in the US are currently testing tires containing Goodyear Tire & Rubber's Air Maintenance Technology (AMT) as part of a research project supported by the United States Department of Energy (DOE). AMT enables tires to remain inflated at a specified cold inflation pressure without the need for any external pumps or electronics. The system utilizes peristaltic pump technology to automatically maintain tire pressure at fleets' desired levels. All components of the AMT system, including the pump, are fully contained within the tire. The AMT system for commercial vehicle tyres is being designed to perform under a variety of operating conditions and through multiple retread lives. Goodyear's AMT has been under development and testing for several years now. The testing and ongoing development has been facilitated by a US $1.5 million grant from the DOE Office of Vehicle Technology, while an additional grant from the government of Luxembourg has gone towards further researching and developing the AMT system for consumer tires. The first prototype AMT tires were produced in Goodyear's Topeka manufacturing plant in Kansas, USA. To see the full article, go to:

New marijuana breath test could determine if a driver is under the influence of pot

Source: Medical Daily, December 1, 2014

Even if law enforcement officials suspect a motorist may be driving under the influence of marijuana, they still have to rely on blood tests to determine how much THC is in the driver's system. These tests do not provide immediate results that are available during a traffic stop. So, researchers from Washington State University are developing a marijuana breathalyzer that can detect THC concentrations using a driver's breath sample. WSU researchers are using a technique known as ion mobility spectrometry to detect THC on a driver's breath. Ion mobility spectrometry is currently used by airport security and customs agents to detect the presence of drugs and explosive chemicals. The WSU research team is looking to convert this technology into a handheld device that can be carried by law enforcement officials. Although researchers admit this device will most likely not provide an exact reading for the amount of THC in a driver's system, it will tell officers if there is some active THC present and help guide decisions for an arrest. To see the full article, go to: /

Self-driving trucks: How the road ahead may shape up

Source: Fleet Owner, December 2, 2014

Proponents of so-called "self-driving trucks" contend that their enabling technologies will work in concert to cut fuel consumption, reduce emissions and ensure highway safety much more effectively than today's commercial vehicles. Trucks engineered with various levels of self-driving technology are expected to start pulling onto North American roads over the next decade. And it's predicted that eventually, perhaps around 2025 or later, that fully autonomous— that is truly driverless— trucks will be rolled out. Experts note that wireless platooning is a form of autonomous driving that has shown meaningful fuel cost savings with very little incremental increase to a truck's price. That can be leveraged by long-haul fleets to derive significant cost savings. This is one of the autonomous driving technologies/concepts that if applied properly can deliver interesting fuel economy gains. To see the full article, go to:

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Global NCAP calls for ESC to be standard worldwide

Source: Auto Safety, November 28, 2014

On November 1, fitment of electronic stability control (ESC) became mandatory for all new cars in Europe. Global NCAP, an umbrella body for consumer testing organizations, is now calling for all UN member states to make ESC standard fit on all cars. Speaking at Global NCAP's 2014 annual meeting in Tianjin, China, chairman Max Mosley said: "The current ESC global fitment rate of approximately 59% of new passenger and light duty vehicles is too low. Action is needed to raise this to 100% by 2020." In the European Union it is estimated that since 1995 ESC has helped avoid at least 188,500 crashes involving injury and has helped save more than 6100 lives. To see the full article, go to:

Poll shows overwhelming public support for new road safety bill in India

Source: SaveLIFE Foundation

In a poll jointly commissioned by SaveLIFE Foundation and the Global Road Safety Partnership, the general public has expressed strong support for the Road Transport and Safety Bill, 2014. The Poll conducted by international research agency Kadence Research covered 12 cities with a total of 38% respondents belonging to rural touch-points. 81% of all respondents "strongly favor" passing of the proposed road safety Bill and 90% believe that passing the Bill will be an important accomplishment for the Indian Parliament. In the past decade, more than 1.2 million people have been killed in road crashes in India. This translates to over 380 deaths a day, equivalent to a jumbo jet crash. Survey findings also revealed that 3 out of 5 respondents feel unsafe while traveling on Indian roads as drivers, pedestrians or passengers. To see the full article go to:

Will 2015 be a turning point for road safety in the EU?

Source: European Transport Safety Council (ETSC), December 2014

2015 will be a critical year for road safety in Europe. With a new European Parliament and Commission up and running, and a midterm review of the EU's 2010-2020 road safety policy ongoing, will the EU continue its ten years of progress on cutting road deaths? Two new policy briefings outline the main issues at stake. In the first briefing, Road Safety Priorities for the EU in 2015, ETSC outlines its recommendations on the key EU road safety policy dossiers to be steered by the Latvian Presidency of the European Union in the first half of 2015. It also examines upcoming policy initiatives from the European Commission including progress towards the 2020 target and reviewing the Road Safety Policy Orientations 2011-2020, with recommendations for maximizing the results for road safety work. Download the PDF here:

The second briefing is titled Mid Term Review of the European Commission's Road Safety Policy Orientations 2011-2020. The European Commission is currently reviewing its 'Road Safety Policy Orientations', its 2010 framework for reducing road deaths by 50% by 2020. This short briefing reflects ETSC's analysis of the measures that have been undertaken, and reminds policymakers of the need to redouble European efforts in the field of road safety and to strengthen and expand the scope of action needed to reach the 2020 target. Download the PDF here:

Statement on road safety for children

Source: Safe Kids Worldwide, December 8, 2014

A growing epidemic of traffic injuries is devastating the next generation of children around the globe. More than 500 children are killed every day as a result of road traffic collisions, and tens of thousands are injured, often suffering lifelong disabilities. Children living in poorer nations are most at risk. In fact, more than 90% of child road deaths occur in low- and middle-income countries. Worse still, unless we take action now, the global toll of traffic injuries will explode, placing millions of children at risk. By 2030, road traffic injuries among both children and adults is expected to surpass HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis as a cause of death worldwide. We must recognize that road safety for children is an important maternal and child health issue. While we've made impressive strides to reduce the number of children dying from communicable diseases through improved treatments and greater availability, we now see that children who are increasingly safe from communicable diseases are threatened by the prospect of death or injury on the roads. To see the full article, go to:

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NTSB Board Member Mark Rosekind nominated (and approved) for next NHTSA Administrator

Source: Auto Blog, November 19, 2014

The Senate has approved Mark Rosekind as the next NTHSA Administrator. Rosekind has served the past four years as a member of the National Transportation Safety Board, the independent government organization that investigates transportation accidents and makes recommendations to other agencies on how to strengthen safety. Safety advocates believe he'll be an effective new leader for the agency. Rosekind's background will allow him to address a wider array of safety concerns. At the NTSB, he has focused on accident investigations, impaired driving and fatigue issues. His biography on the NTSB website describes him as "one of the world's foremost human fatigue experts." Prior to serving on the NTSB, Rosekind directed the Fatigue Countermeasures Program at NASA and was the chief of the aviation operations branch in flight management and human factors division. To see the full article, go to:
For the update on Senate approval, go to:

Recent NHTSA Research Publication – Drugged Driving

Research Note: Understanding the Limitations of Drug Test Information, Reporting, and Testing Practices in Fatal Crashes (November 2014, DOT HS 812 072)

This important research note explains that the drugged driving issue is complex and drug testing and reporting across States and jurisdictions is not uniform. Users of FARS data must keep the limitations in mind when interpreting the data. Currently, the data in FARS is insufficient to allow comparisons of drug use across years, or across States. In addition, in light of the limitations detailed in the research note, it is also not possible to make inferences about impairment, crash causation, or comparisons to alcohol from this limited data. As more complete information becomes available, FARS data on drug-involved driving will be strengthened. To view the research note, go to:

For More Information about Drugged Driving Research, go to the Driving Safety Research & Evaluation page on NHTSA's website and scroll down to the heading Studies and Reports, click on Impaired Driving and then Drug-related studies.

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Recommended by NETS Members

Recent report from AAA: Evaluating Technologies Relevant to the Enhancement of Driver Safety

Source: AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, August 2014

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety funded a project to develop a data-driven system for rating vehicle safety technologies. The goal? Educate and empower car buyers so they can make confident purchasing decisions when presented with a range of safety add-ons. The group also hopes to do this by highlighting what is known about these technologies –- and what remains unknown. Such a system was envisioned as having the potential to educate and guide consumers towards more confident and strategic purchasing decisions, ideally encouraging adoption of technologies showing demonstrated safety benefit. Further, an evaluation of the status and extent of existing data was seen as a way of identifying research gaps in the present state of knowledge about these safety systems. A PDF of the full report may be downloaded here:

Prevalence of Motor Vehicle Crashes Involving Drowsy Drivers, U.S. 2009-2013

Source: AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, November 2014

Although official government statistics suggest that drowsy driving only contributes to approximately 1-3% of motor vehicle crashes each year in the United States, results of in depth studies suggest that the true prevalence is likely much higher. The current study updates an earlier 1999-2008 study with data from years 2009–2013. Results showed that an estimated 6% of all crashes in which a vehicle was towed from the scene, 7% of crashes in which a person received treatment for injuries sustained in the crash, 13% of crashes in which a person was hospitalized, and 21% of crashes in which a person was killed involved a drowsy driver. A PDF of the full report may be downloaded here:

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Upcoming Transportation/Safety Events

Transportation Research Board (TRB)
94th Annual Meeting
January 11-15, 2015
"Corridors to the Future: Transportation and Technology"
Washington, D.C.

NETS is participating in the following two panels:

Monday, January 12, 2015, 1:30pm- 3:15pm, Convention Center, 102B

Private Sector Perspectives on Safety Culture

Susan B Herbel, Cambridge Systematics, Inc., presiding
Sponsored by Safety and Systems Users Group; Committee on Roadway Safety Culture

How Benchmarking and Collaboration Produce Promising Results in Employer Road Safety Programs
Jack Hanley, Network of Employers for Traffic Safety
Making Road Safety an Integral Part of the Organizational Safety Culture for All Employees
Jeff Castillo, Monsanto Company
The Roll of Senior Leadership in Establishing a Comprehensive Cell Phone Ban: A Case Study
Joseph McKillips, Abbott
Nicholas J. Ward, Western Transportation Institute

Tuesday, January 13, 2015, 10:15am-12:00pm, Convention Center, 102A

Occupant Protection in Work Environments

Narelle Lorraine Haworth, Queensland University of Technology, Australia, presiding
Sponsored by Committee on Occupant Protection

Case Study: How Coca-Cola Refreshments, Bismarck, ND Increased Seat Belt Usage of Mostly Young Male Pickup Drivers from 54% to 84%
Jack Hanley, Network of Employers for Traffic Safety and Craig Hammer, Coca-Cola Refreshments, Bismarck
Safety Belt Use, Injury Severity, And Hospital Charges Among Workers in Illinois
Mehdi Nassirpour, Illinois Department of Transportation
Digital Human Body Models for Occupant Protection Research and Design
Hongwei Hsiao, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Making Ambulances Safer for EMS Personnel
James Green, National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health

For more information, go to:

December 10-31, 2014
Holiday Season Drunk Driving Prevention
Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over

Materials from NHTSA's Traffic Safety Marketing available here:

Super Bowl XLIX - February 1, 2015
Drunk Driving Prevention Campaign

Campaign materials available from NHTSA's Traffic Safety Marketing:

LifeSavers National Conference on Highway Safety Priorities, March 15-17, 2015 Chicago, IL

For more information or to register, go to:

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