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Virginia Wing Vehicle Operations Safety Site
Vehicle Safety Topics Page One


Avoiding Backing Accidents
Blind Spots
Brakes and other Safety Tips
Cell Phone Use
Automotive Battery Safety: Jumpstarting
Driving in the Rain
DUI/DWI Statistics
Exhaust Fumes
Driving at Night
Setting Mirrors for Safety
Railroad Crossings
Road Rage, the need for Common Sense
Stopping Distances and Icy Roads
Vehicle Operator Mindset
Vehicle Operator Safety through Education
Vehicle Safety Topics Page One
Vehicle Safety: Tires
Vehicle Safety: Tire Pressure and Hydroplaning
What to do when a tire blows out....
Winter Driving Tips
Rural Driving Safety
Vehicle Fires
Impaired Drivers
Winter Safety
Contact Us
Important Links

Vehicle Safety and the Transporter

Traffic Safety Facts for 2001

*Public Information from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

"In 2001, there wer an estimated 6,323,000 police reported traffic crashes, in which 42,116 people were killed and 3,033,000 people were injured; 4,282,000 crashes involved property damage only."

To put the number of people that died due to motor vehicle crashes in perspective, the number of people living in the city of Charlottesville Virginia according to the 2000 census was 40,070.

Civil Air Patrol operates 834 corporate vehicles in support of our mission taskings and as of 10 Aug 02, Civil Air Patrol had reported seven vehicle related mishaps compared to fifteen total for 2001 and the same amount for 2000.

The cause for CAP vehicle mishaps had been identified and reported at the 2002 National Board Meeting as the following:

-- Turning Vans striking obstructions

-- Backing

-- Precipitation induced loss of control

-- Failure to yield

Prevention and education was stressed.

-- Emphasis on turns, backing and roll-over risks

-- Ensure vehicles are equiped with back up alarms and that they are operational.

-- Continued emphasis on use of seatbelts.

Safety Education and Safety Prevention go hand in hand to prevent mishaps and vehicle related fatalities.

For more on Civil Air Patrol safety please visit http://www.capnhq.govor for national statisics and information you can visit


Frequently Asked Questions About Tire Safety


Proper Tire Inflation

Q.  Why is proper tire inflation important?

A.  Under inflated tires cause unnecessary stress, wear, and can cause loss of control of a vehicle.  In fact, improper inflation is a leading cause of tire failures while driving.  According to recent studies, nearly half of all vehicles on the road have at least one under-inflated tire, and tire inflation is blamed for hundreds of accidents each year.  Taking the time to make sure your tires are properly inflated can significanly reduce the risk to you and your family of tire failure while driving.

Q.  How can I tell if my tires are properly inflated?  Is looking at them enough?

A.  Absolutely not.  In fact, your tire can be at half the recommended level of tire inflation and still appear to be perfectly normal.  Always check your tires with a tire guage.

Q.  When is the best time to check my tires?

A.  The best time to check your tires is first thing in the morning.  The heat created from driving increases your tire's air pressure, so to get an accurate reading, you should always measure tire pressure when the care has been unused for at least three hours.


Q.  How does the heat affect my tires?

A.  When tires get too hot the risk of tire failure increases.  Excessive speed, under-inflation or excessive loading, either separately or in combination, can cause heat buildup and possible tire failure.  When the weather is hot, these problems are made worse.  In addition, warm weather causes the air pressure in your tire to go up 1 to 2 pounds for every 10 degrees of temperature change.  That's why paying attention to proper tire inflation is especially important during the hot summer months.

Q.  How does cold weather affect my tires?

A.  When the weather turns cold, your tires lose air pressure.  For every ten degree drop in temperature, your tirs lose 1 to 2 pounds of air pressure.  So you need to add air to compensate for this loss of air pressure.


Q.  Why is it important to avoid overloading my vehicle?

A.  Overloading your vehicle puts extra strain on your tires by creating excessive heat.  Excessive heat can cause tire failure, especially during long trips.  In addition, excessive loading causes the tires to expand which can lead to increased tread deterioration, another cause  of tire failure.  Tire failure on the highway can lead to serious accidents.

Q.  How do I know if I'm overloading my vehicle?

A.  Before hitting the road make sure to check your vehicle's loading recommendation.  This information can be found on the vehicle information placard on the door post, or in the owner's manual, then figure out the total weight you're loading.  And as you load up the trunk and roof rack, remember you and your passengers count towards the total recommended vehicle weight.



Drowsy Drivers

Every year, falling asleep while driving is responsible for at least 100,000 automobile crashes, 40,000 injuries, and 1550 fatalities. These crashes happen between the hours of midnight and 6am, involve a single vehicle and a sober driver traveling alone, with the car leaving the roadway without any attempt to avoid the crash. These figures underestimate the true level of involvement of drowsiness because they do not include crashes involving daytime hours, multiple vehicles, alcohol, passengers, or evasive maneuvers.


*Source:  NHTSA

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