The DOT Daily: NHTSA and Safe Kids Take Proactive Steps in Preventing Child Heatstroke in Hot Vehicles

31 children died last year as a result of heatstroke; 11 so far in 2015

OXON HILL, MD – As part of National Heatstroke Prevention Day, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) joined Safe Kids Worldwide in urging parents and caregivers to take proper precautions to prevent child heatstroke tragedies in hot vehicles. NHTSA also unveiled a new technical report to help manufacturers develop effective technology innovations to prevent the dozens of child heatstroke deaths that occur each year.

NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind and Safe Kids Worldwide President and CEO Kate Carr delivered remarks during the Safe Kids Worldwide Childhood Injury Prevention Convention, which brought together injury prevention professionals from across the United States and around the world to discuss, share and learn ways of reducing all types of injuries to children.

“Everything we know about these needless tragedies indicates heatstroke in hot cars can happen to any parent from any walk of  life,” said U.S Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “The Department of Transportation is providing research and technical support to bring technology to bear on this tragic problem. But we all have a role to play, by taking practical, effective measures to protect our own kids and by calling 911 if we see a child in distress.”

Leaving a child unattended in a vehicle can lead to heatstroke and can kill in minutes. Data from the San Jose State University Department of Geosciences [external link] show at least 31 children in the United States lost their lives in 2014 after being left unattended in or around vehicles, and an unknown number of others were moderately to severely injured. So far this year, there have been at least 11 child deaths from heatstroke.

“Every heatstroke death caused by leaving a child unattended in a hot car is 100 percent preventable,” said NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind. “The message is simple: never leave a child alone in a vehicle and always check the back seat before walking away. As a bystander, if you see a kid alone in a hot car, take action. Working together, we can prevent these tragedies.”

“We don’t want to see this tragedy happen to any family,” Karr said. “We’re asking everyone to help protect kids from this very preventable tragedy by spreading the word on National Heatstroke Prevention Day. Whether you’re a parent, caregiver or a concerned bystander, you can help save lives.”

Vehicles heat up quickly, and not even a window rolled down two inches can prevent that. The temperature inside a vehicle can reach deadly levels in only 10 minutes if the outside temperature is in the low 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Even with temperatures in the 60s or 70s, heatstroke poses a serious risk. A child will die of heatstroke once their body temperature reaches 107 degrees.

Reggie McKinnon, who lost his daughter, Payton, to heatstroke on  March 8, 2010 in Cape Coral, FL said at the press event, “I made a promise to my sweet Payton that I would do everything I could to prevent this horror from ever happening to another child. And that’s what we’re doing today by coming together to bring awareness and education to such an important issue. All of us working together and pledging to never stop talking, teaching and caring.”

Since 2012, NHTSA has produced annual “Where’s Baby? Look Before You Lock” awareness campaigns during warm-weather months to alert parents and others to the dangers of heatstroke. The campaign uses radio and online advertising and provides awareness materials to safety stakeholders to spread the word.

In addition, NHTSA’s Office of Vehicle Safety Research is working to help develop technology solutions that could prevent heatstroke deaths. The agency released a technical report today that is intended as a roadmap to help manufacturers design electronic reminder systems. While a number of such systems are now available, either as features on child safety seats or as add-on products, their capabilities and easeofuse vary. NHTSA’s technical report includes descriptions of system features and offers detailed test procedures product developers can use to evaluate their products.

While NHTSA encourages innovative solutions to this one hundred percent preventable tragedy, it also encourages families to maintain vigilant parenting/caregiving practices and not rely on any single safeguard against leaving a child unattended in a vehicle.

DOT and NHTSA urge parents and caregivers to take the following precautions to prevent heatstroke incidents from occurring:

  • Never leave a child unattended in a vehicle – even if the windows are partially open or the engine is running and the air conditioning is on;
  • Make a habit of looking in the vehicle – front and back – before locking the door and walking away;
  • Ask the childcare provider to call if the child doesn’t show up for care as expected;
  • Do things that serve as a reminder that a child is in the vehicle, such as placing a phone, purse or briefcase in the back seat to ensure no child is accidentally left in the vehicle, or writing a note or using a stuffed animal placed in the driver’s view to indicate a child is in the car seat;
  • Always lock your vehicle when not in use and store keys out of  a child’s reach, so children cannot enter unattended. Teach children that a vehicle is not a play area;
  • Community members who see a child alone in a vehicle should immediately call 911 or the local emergency number. A child in distress due to heat should be removed from the vehicle as quickly as possible and rapidly cooled.

Safe Kids Worldwide supports NHTSA’s heatstroke education campaign, “Where’s Baby? Look Before You Lock” and the increased national coordination on the issue. In addition, to help prevent these tragedies, Safe Kids, with the support of General Motors, created Never Leave Your Child Alone in a Car as part of its Buckle Up program, a national initiative established 18 years ago to keep children and families safe in and around cars.

Source: http://www.transportation.gov/briefing-room/nhtsa-and-safe-kids-worldwide-encourage-parents-and-caregivers-take-proactive-steps#sthash.9el3dGv4.dpuf

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The DOT Daily: NHTSA Encourages Motorists to Drive Sober this Fourth of July Holiday

WASHINGTON – As one of the deadliest holidays for drunk driving crashes quickly approaches, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is urging motorists to drive sober, be alert and always buckle up.

During the 2013 Fourth of July Weekend Holiday, 199 people were killed in crashes involving a drunk driver.  Driving while legally drunk, with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher, is against the law in all 50 States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.

NHTSA recommends the following tips to ensure safe travels:

  • Never get behind the wheel drunk. Plan a safe ride home or designate a sober driver before you start drinking.
  • If you drink too much, call a taxi, sober friend or family member, or use public transportation to get home safely.  NHTSA offers a free SaferRide app that allows users to call a taxi or a friend by identifying their location so they can be picked up. The app is available for Android devices on Google Play [external link], and Apple devices on the iTunes store [external link].
  • Be alert, never drive distracted and don’t hesitate to contact law enforcement if you see a drunk driver on the road.
  • Buckle up. Wearing your seat belt is your best defense against a drunk driver.

– See more at: http://www.transportation.gov/briefing-room/travel-advisory-nhtsa-encourages-motorists-drive-sober-fourth-july-holiday#sthash.wT1SzJfy.dpuf

The DOT Daily: Veterans Transition into Civilian Jobs as Commercial Truck and Bus Drivers in Record Numbers through USDOT/FMCSA Program

More than 10,000 veterans and active duty personnel have now taken advantage of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Military Skills Test Waiver Program.  In the first three years of the Military Skills Test Waiver Program, approximately 6,000 former military personnel obtained a civilian commercial driver’s license (CDL).  In the past 12 months alone, another 4,000 individuals, including Reserves, National Guard, and U.S. Coast Guard service members, have taken advantage of the Program.

“It is our duty to help returning veterans transition into civilian life, and I am proud that so many have used this program to secure careers in the transportation sector,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “Just as important, we want to put their valuable skills and experience to work driving the Nations’ economy.”

The Military Skills Test Waiver Program, which began in 2011, grants state licensing agencies, including the District of Columbia, the authority to waive the skills test portion of the CDL application for active duty or recently separated veterans who possess at least two years of safe driving experience operating a military truck or bus.  Waiving the skills test expedites the civilian CDL application process and reduces expenses for qualified individuals and operating costs to state licensing agencies.

“In the near future, the need for skilled truck drivers is expected to grow dramatically,” said FMCSA Chief Counsel Scott Darling.  “Having skillful and experienced drivers operating on our roadways will lead to increased safety for every member of the motoring public.”

The USDOT/FMCSA Military Skills Test Waiver Program has been conducted in close cooperation with the Department of Defense and the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA).

Additional information, including a standardized application form accepted in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, is available at: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/registration/commercial-drivers-license/military.

Need a DOT physical examination? Click here!

Source: http://www.transportation.gov/briefing-room/veterans-transition-civilian-jobs-commercial-truck-and-bus-drivers-record-numbers

The DOT Daily: FMCSA Proposal to Affect Diabetics

FMCSA Proposes Revision to Diabetes Standards for Interstate Commercial Drivers.  The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) today announced a proposal to permit individuals with stable, well-controlled insulin-treated diabetes mellitus (ITDM) to be qualified to operate trucks and buses in interstate commerce.  Under the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, a driver’s treating clinician would be required to provide documentation annually to a health professional listed on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners who is performing the USDOT medical qualification examination affirming that the driver’s ITDM is stable and well-controlled.  The increased medical review will strengthen both the health monitoring of the driver and the safety of the motoring public by ensuring that physically qualified individuals are operating commercial trucks and buses on the nation’s highways and roads.  A copy of the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is available at https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2015/05/04/2015-09993/qualifications-of-drivers-diabetes-standard.  Comments and evidentiary materials may be submitted to the docket through July 6, 2015.  Contact:  Kurt Larson:  (202) 366-9999

New Ruling on CMV Driver Medical Certification Required Compliancy by May 2014

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Recent changes in the certification of Commercial Motor Carrier (CMV) drivers have taken effect last year and are required to be compliant by May 21, 2014, including the establishment of a National Registry for Medical Examiners.

What is the National Registry Program? 

The National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners (National Registry) program was developed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to improve highway safety and driver health. It requires all medical examiners who wish to perform physical examinations for interstate commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers to be trained and certified in FMCSA physical qualification standards. After May 21, 2014, you must have your medical examination performed by a certified medical examiner listed on the National Registry

Why is the National Registry program necessary? 

The National Registry program is necessary to ensure that medical examiners can effectively determine if your physical qualification meets FMCSA’s standards. The National Registry program will help reduce the occurrence of crashes, injuries, and fatalities involving large trucks and buses by making sure you are physically and mentally able to perform your job safely.

How will the National Registry program impact current CMV driver’s? If you are an interstate CMV driver, you already need to have a valid medical certificate signed by a medical examiner. The only change is that after May 21, 2014, you will need to go to a certified medical examiner for your medical certificate. indicate a possible problem with circulation, nerves, metabolism, hormones, medications, and/or nutrition.

How often do I have to obtain a medical certificate? 

All interstate CMV drivers must have a physical examination at least every 2 years; however, the medical examiner may determine that you need more frequent examinations (for example, annually or every 6 months). The National Registry program does not change how often you need to obtain a medical examination; it only requires that you go to a certified medical examiner. 

How do i find a certified medical examiner? 

Currently Chambers Chiropractic & Acupuncture is a federally certified Medical Examiner listed on the National Registry (# 7434475156; Certification Date: 4/16/2013). Please visit our website http://wvmedicalclinic.com/ for more information on our testing and examination services. 

If you are out of the area and need assistance in locating a Medical Examiner:

  1. Go to the National Registry website at https://nationalregistry.fmcsa.dot.gov.
  2. Click on the US. map to bring up a list of certified medical examiners in your area. You can search by ZIP Code, State, or examiner name.
  3. Choose a certified medical examiner from the list and call to make an appointment.

When does this change take effect?

The National Registry Final Rule was published on April 20, 2012. The program became effective May 21, 2012. After May 21, 2014, all interstate CMV drivers must have their medical examination performed by a certified medical examiner listed on the National Registry.

Source: https://nationalregistry.fmcsa.dot.gov/NRPublicUI/Drivers.seam