NTSB Press Release

National Transportation Safety Board
Office of Public Affairs


June 30, 2006

Washington, DC - As the Independence Day holiday approaches,National Transportation Safety Board Acting Chairman Mark V. Rosenker urges everyone to remember safety when making their holiday plans. "Have a wonderful holiday weekend and remember to protect yourself and protect your loved ones. Buckle up, don't drink and drive, and always wear a personal flotation device (PFD) while on the water."

Recommendations for seat belt usage, drinking and driving, and personal flotation devices (PFDs) for children on boats are on the NTSB's list of Most Wanted safety improvements. The list highlights those recommendations that, if implemented, will make the most significant safety improvements.

Fifty-five percent of motor vehicle occupants killed in 2005 were unrestrained. Proper restraint is the best way to protect every person in a vehicle; when adults are buckled up, 87 percent of children are buckled up too. When buckling up children, remember that children up to 8 years old need to be in a child safety seat or booster seat appropriate for their height and weight.

In 2005 almost 17,000 people were killed in alcohol-related highway accidents and the Independence Day holiday weekend is the most dangerous weekend of the year in terms of alcohol-related fatalities.

In the past 10 years more than 8,100 people have died in recreational boating accidents. Safety Board studies have estimated that at least 37 percent of the operators involved in fatal accidents were known to have or were presumed to have consumed alcohol before their accidents.

Like seat belts in automobiles, wearing a PFD greatly improves your chances of surviving a boating accident. The United States Coast Guard (USCG) reported in 2004 that about 89 percent of victims who drowned as a result of boating accidents could have been saved if they had worn PFDs. So whether as a driver, passenger, rider, or pedestrian, or when boating - play it safe by eliminating those things that impair or distract you. Paying attention pays dividends.

The Safety Board has issued safety alerts reminding people that safety should be first priority. These and other Board safety alerts can be found on our website using the following link http://www.ntsb.gov/alerts/alerts.htm.

* Recreational Boating Safety (SA-007)
* Passenger Vessel Safety (SA-009)
* Small Passenger Charter Fishing Vessels (SA-010)
* Primary Seat Belt Laws (SA-005)
* Child Passenger Safety (SA-002)
* Hard Core Drinking Drivers (SA-004)

NTSB Office of Public Affairs: (202) 314-6100



The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent federal agency charged with determining the probable cause
of transportation accidents, promoting transportation safety, and assisting victims of transportation accidents and their families.