Prevent Deadly Accidents Before Starting Your Car
A new study shows Americans need to be re-educated about
proper car safety standards. A public opinion survey,
conducted by Public Opinion Strategies for the National
Safety Council (NSC) and Castrol GTX Start Up,
reveals that 93 percent of Americans are hitting the
roads ill prepared — therefore increasing their chances
of a road incident.
so long, safe driving discussions have centered on safety
while driving that Americans have almost forgotten to
take the proper safety precautions before starting their
cars," said Chuck Hurley, NSC transportation safety
group vice president. "While some may see it as
mundane, the reality is that in a tricky driving situation,
having followed the start-up safety precautions before
turning the key can make the difference between safety
and a disaster."
behaviors conducted before starting the car can help
combat two of the leading causes of serious car crashes
— seatbelt use and incorrectly inflated or unevenly
worn tires. In 2003, incorrectly inflated or unevenly
worn tires contributed to more than 20,000 serious auto
NSC and Castrol GTX Start Up conducted their first-ever
survey on motorists' pre-start inspections and behaviors
to determine if Americans were following proper safety
guidelines before they start up their cars. "We
were surprised when nine out of 10 respondents admitted
to not following them," Hurley said.
survey results led to the creation of the Start Up for
Safety Campaign, a collaboration between the NSC and
Castrol GTX Start Up that is designed to emphasize
the importance of taking proper safety precautions before
turning the key.
very proud to be working with the NSC on the Start Up
for Safety Campaign. Safety is our number one priority
at BP Lubricants Americas and it shows in everything
we do," said Ian Zaslansky, Castrol GTX Start Up
Pre-Start Safety Guidelines
The seven pre-start safety precautions the NSC recommends
happen every time a driver gets behind the wheel are:
seatbelts, making sure they're properly fastened
In the last 20 years, an estimated 157,500 lives have
been saved by safety belts.
Three out of 10 survey respondents do not adjust their
mirrors before short driving trips (two hours or less),
when it is more likely you will get in a crash.
seat and head restraints
Correctly positioned head restraints reduce whiplash
injuries resulting from crashes by 28.3 percent.
Only 34 percent of survey respondents regularly secure
loose objects in their cars, even though, on average,
loose items-from luggage to soda pop cans-are responsible
for 13,000 injuries in accidents nationwide in just
off cell phones
In the last five years alone, nearly 300,000 drivers
have been involved in crashes attributed to cell phone
for engine warning lights
Three out of four respondents said they always check
to see if their check engine light is on; however,
many admitted to checking the light while already
your fuel level
In preparing for a trip-large or small-it's necessary
to ensure you have enough gasoline in your tank to
get there and back. Twenty-five percent of survey
respondents said they do not check their gas level.
help drivers remember the safety guidelines, NSC and
Castrol GTX Start Up recommend the Start Up for
Safety Checklist. The START
UP Checklist takes about five minutes.
Turn off cell phone
Allow enough time
to avoid speeding and aggressive driving
safety belts and child restraints properly.
Up Can Also Save Money
With gas prices steadily increasing year over year,
American drivers now have another reason to pay attention
to the start-up guidelines. According to the Department
of Energy, following the proper start-up procedures-such
as proper tire inflation-can actually save five cents
per gallon for each fill-up. Additionally, regularly
checking your oil and replacing it with the correct
grade during an oil change can improve gas mileage as
much as 2 percent, a savings of up to three cents per
more information, visit www.fueleconomy.gov
While 99 percent of survey respondents rated themselves
as safe drivers, nine out of 10 do not conduct the appropriate
safety checks before starting their cars. The survey
also questioned respondents on their overall driving
behavior and uncovered other surprising findings:
does not make a difference
Only 9 percent of drivers always conduct the NSC-recommended
safety checks before they take a two hour or longer driving trip.
put the pedal to the metal
Drivers who reported aggressive driving behavior and
exceeding the speed limit tended to be men.
phone is not off the hook
Less than 20 percent of drivers who use cell phones
turn them off before driving. The NSC believes that
a driver's first responsibility is the safe operation
of the vehicle and that best practice is to not use
electronic devices including cell phones while driving.
are a nation of speeders
One of three respondents said it was acceptable
to drive more than five miles over the limit
on interstate highways.
aren't as safe as they think
Women consistently reported that they are safe drivers,
yet they fail to follow the NSC-recommended maintenance
procedures. One thousand drivers ages 18 and older were surveyed,
with a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percent. Some key
questions asked included:
you consider yourself to be a safe driver?
about every time you get in your car and before you turn the key, when going on a short
trip or running an errand in your neighborhood, do
you always check:
Safety Council and Castrol® GTX
Start Up Release Safety Standards to Help Re-educate
America's Drivers About Proper Driving Safety.
make sure your mirrors are properly adjusted?
make sure all occupants are correctly belted?
make sure your seat and head restraints are properly
make sure all doors are closed and locked?
make sure loose objects are secure?
and underneath your car for potential obstacles?
make sure the car is secure, such as checking
to make sure your car has not been broken into
or there is no one unusual or suspicious in or
around the car?