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The Most Dangerous Times on the Road

POSTED ON May 19th, 2015  - POSTED IN Uncategorized

Orig. Post by BACtrack | Re-Post May 19, 2015

memorialday_mailer_pic_2The odds of getting into a driving accident increase during periods when there are more cars on the road, such as rush hour, or when driving conditions are less than optimal, as during periods of inclement weather. But when the number of alcohol impaired drivers increases, the odds skyrocket. Research into periods when motorists are most vulnerable to accidents involving alcohol-impaired drivers offers an instructive road map for avoiding those times when driving risks are the greatest.

According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), between 2001 and 2005, 36 fatalities occurred per day on average in the United States as a result of crashes involving an alcohol-impaired driver. At certain times of the year, such as summers and holidays, those numbers rose dramatically. During the Christmas period, for example, an average of 45 fatalities involving an alcohol-impaired driver occurred each day, and soared to 54 per day over the New Year’s holiday.

The summer season usually offers the best weather and driving conditions of the year – dry roads, excellent visibility, and longer daylight hours. But the seasonal benefits can be negated by other factors. According to the NHTSA, a higher volume of holiday travelers, including a significantly higher number of alcohol-impaired drivers, cause nearly twice the number of automotive deaths during summer months than during the rest of the year combined.

“100 Deadliest Days” for Teens

The period between Memorial Day and Labor Day – summer vacation for most students – has been called “The 100 Deadliest Days” for teen drivers. Nine of the 10 deadliest days for youth on U.S. highways fall between May and August. One reason is that teens are drinking are younger ages.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, an estimated 5.8% of teens ages 16 and 17, and 15.1% of 18 to 20 year olds reported driving under the influence of alcohol in 2010. The U.S. Department of Transportation found that a total of 3,115 teens ages 13-19 died in motor vehicle crashes that year, and about 2 out of 3 fatalities were males.

Too much free time and too little driving experience also risk for teenagers. In addition, they are more likely to engage in “distracted driving” behavior, which describes activities that can endanger the safety of drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. Examples of distracted driving include texting, using a cell phone, or grooming while driving a motor vehicle.

Most Dangerous Holidays 

During the holidays, the number of travelers on our nation’s roads peaks as friends and family come together to celebrate. As a result of holiday parties and gatherings, more drivers are impaired by alcohol, too. Unfortunately, fatalities resulting from accidents involving alcohol-impaired drivers have become so predictable that many state highway patrol departments now issue fatality estimates, which usually prove to be all too accurate.

Lurking among the “100 Deadliest Days” of summer is the deadliest day of them all – the Fourth of July holiday. The IIHS studied deaths resulting from auto accidents from 2005 to 2009 and ranked the July 4 as the deadliest day of the year, with 144 driving-related fatalities on average. Teens accounted for nearly 10% of the fatalities.

The most traveled holiday period of the year is Thanksgiving weekend, and DUI arrests are at their highest between Thanksgiving and the end of New Year’s weekend. Thanksgiving Eve is even referred to as “Black Wednesday,” as it may be the busiest night of the year for bars. Social binge drinking (consumption of a high volume of alcohol in a short period of time) is also common at this time of year.

The U.S. National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) reports that 40% of traffic-related deaths during Christmas and New Year’s involve drunk drivers — a 12% increase over the rest of the month of December. According to the NHTSA, 2,597 people lost their lives due to motor vehicle traffic crashes during December 2010. The NHTSA also found that an average of 36 fatalities occurred each day in the U.S. 2001 and 2005 as a result of crashes involving an alcohol impaired driver. That number increased to 45 per day during the 3-day Christmas period and jumped to 54 per day over New Year’s holiday period.

Predictably, driving danger is higher than average during other holiday periods, too. According to the NHTSA, during Labor Day weekend in 2010, 147 people in the U.S. were killed as a result of drunk driving, which represented 36% of all highway fatalities during that period.

Other Dangerous Days and Times

The IIHS found that the second deadliest day after July 4 was September 2, followed by August 13, July 15, May 20, and November 11. Perhaps surprisingly, New Year’s Eve ranked 7th, with 130 average fatalities.

IIHS also discovered that seven of the 25 deadliest days in the U.S. occurred during August, which made it the deadliest month on the road. September and July rank as the second and third deadliest months, according to the NHTSA, and March had the fewest auto fatalities.

Many of the deadliest days occur when people celebrate special occasions and events, such as Cinco de Mayo or the Super Bowl. For example, a NHTSA study found that alcohol-related crashes claimed a life every 51 minutes on St. Patrick’s Day in 2010, accounting for 32% of all fatalities that occurred that day.

The NHTSA reports that most accidents occur during “rush hour,” between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.  And according to the NHTSA, Saturday is the most dangerous day of the week to drive, primarily because there are more cars – and more drunk drivers – on the road than any other day. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, 31% of fatal drunk-driving accidents occur on the weekend, and the highest number of drunk drivers is on the road between midnight and 3 a.m. Fatal crashes are also four times higher at night than during the day.

Dangerous Days to Walk

While New Year’s Day might not be the most dangerous day to drive, it’s probably the most dangerous day to walk. According to a 2005 article in the journal Injury Prevention, more pedestrian deaths occur on New Year’s Day than any other day, including Halloween.

Pedestrian deaths are also more likely to occur on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, when nearly half (49%) of all pedestrian fatalities occurred. Alcohol involvement — for driver or pedestrian — was reported in nearly half of all traffic crashes resulting in pedestrian deaths. And in one-third of pedestrian fatalities, the pedestrian was intoxicated.

In 2008, 69,000 pedestrians were injured in traffic crashes and 4,378 were killed, according to the CDC. One pedestrian was injured every eight minutes and one was killed every two hours. Thirty-eight percent pedestrian fatalities for those under age 16 occurred between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Your Deadliest Days to Drive

It’s easy to calculate your own Most Dangerous Days to Drive. Anytime you consume alcohol and drive, you increase your risk of being in a car accident. Highway patrol departments are more familiar with the data than you. If you plan to drink during periods when driving dangers are elevated, be aware that the highway patrol is on alert, and that are determined to get intoxicated drivers off the highways.

Help For Parents of Troubled Teens

POSTED ON May 7th, 2015  - POSTED IN Uncategorized

Orig Post – HelpGuide.org | Re-Post 5/7/15

angry-teen-boy-190 wideParenting a teenager is never easy, but when your teen is violent, depressed, abusing alcohol or drugs, or engaging in other reckless behaviors, it can seem overwhelming. You may feel exhausted from lying awake at night worrying about where your child is, who he or she is with, and what they’re doing. You may despair over failed attempts to communicate, the endless fights, and the open defiance. Or you may live in fear of your teen’s violent mood swings and explosive anger. While parenting a troubled teen can often seem like an impossible task, there are steps you can take to ease the chaos at home and help your teen transition into a happy, successful young adult.

Normal Teen vs. Troubled Teen Behavior

As teenagers begin to assert their independence and find their own identity, many experience behavioral changes that can seem bizarre and unpredictable to parents. Your sweet, obedient child who once couldn’t bear to be separated from you now won’t be seen within 20 yards of you, and greets everything you say with a roll of the eyes or the slam of a door. These, unfortunately, are the actions of a normal teenager.

As the parent of a troubled teen, you’re faced with even greater challenges. A troubled teen faces behavioral, emotional, or learning problems beyond the normal teenage issues. They may repeatedly practice at-risk behaviors such as violence, skipping school, drinking, drug use, sex, self-harming, shoplifting, or other criminal acts. Or they may exhibit symptoms of mental health problems like depression, anxiety, or eating disorders. While any negative behavior repeated over and over can be a sign of underlying trouble, it’s important for parents to understand which behaviors are normal during adolescent development, and which can point to more serious problems.

Understanding Teen Development

No, your teen is not an alien being from a distant planet, but he or she is wired differently. A teenager’s brain is still actively developing, processing information differently than a mature adult’s brain. The frontal cortex—the part of the brain used to manage emotions, make decisions, reason, and control inhibitions—is restructured during the teenage years, forming new synapses at an incredible rate, while the whole brain does not reach full maturity until about the mid-20’s.

Your teen may be taller than you and seem mature in some respects, but often he or she is simply unable to think things through at an adult level. Hormones produced during the physical changes of adolescence can further complicate things. Now, these biological differences don’t excuse teens’ poor behavior or absolve them from accountability for their actions, but they may help explain why teens behave so impulsively or frustrate parents and teachers with their poor decisions, social anxiety, and rebelliousness. Understanding adolescent development can help you find ways to stay connected to your teen and overcome problems together.

Anger and Violence in Teens

If you’re a parent of a teenage boy who is angry, aggressive, or violent, you may live in constant fear. Every phone call or knock on the door could bring news that your son has either been harmed, or has seriously harmed others.

Teenage girls get angry as well, of course, but that anger is usually expressed verbally rather than physically. Teen boys are more likely to throw objects, kick doors, or punch the walls when they’re angry. Some will even direct their rage towards you. For any parent, especially single mothers, this can be a profoundly upsetting and unsettling experience. But you don’t have to live under the threat of violence.

Read entire article here…

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mother’s Day

POSTED ON May 6th, 2015  - POSTED IN Uncategorized

mother's dayMother’s Day is this Sunday. We’d like to take a moment to thank all of the mothers out there. Where would we all be without a motherly figure in our lives? They love us, take care of us, make us feel better when we are sick and give us advice as we get older. They make sacrifices that we may never be aware of. They do all of this because they love us and there are not many things better in this world than a mother’s love.

So thank you for being our heroes. Thank you for teaching us to make the right choices in life. Thank you for all that you do. Make sure you take the time to let the mother’s in your life know how much you love and appreciate them.

Teacher Appreciation Week

POSTED ON May 6th, 2015  - POSTED IN Uncategorized

teacher appreciation weekThis week is Teacher Appreciation Week. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, “3.7 million people in the United States work as elementary and secondary teachers in public schools.” That is a whole lot of people impacting and helping to shape the future of our nation. Sadly, the National Education Association estimates about 45% of teachers leave the profession in their first five years. Teaching is often a profession that is not appreciated for the impact it has and the hard work that goes in to it.

Teacher Appreciation Day was established to recognize the hard work and dedication teachers put in every year to help students grow. Here is a brief history overview of Teacher Appreciation Day from the National Education Association.

“The origins of National Teacher Day are murky. Around 1944 Arkansas teacher Mattye Whyte Woodridge began corresponding with political and education leaders about the need for a national day to honor teachers. Woodridge wrote to Eleanor Roosevelt, who in 1953 persuaded the 81st Congress to proclaim a National Teacher Day.

NEA, along with its Kansas and Indiana state affiliates and the Dodge City (Kan.) Local, lobbied Congress to create a national day to celebrate teachers. Congress declared March 7, 1980 as National Teacher Day for that year only.

NEA and its affiliates continued to observe National Teacher Day in March until 1985, when the NEA Representative Assembly voted to change the event to Tuesday of the first full week of May.”

Everyone here at Sports World.org would like to express our appreciation for teachers and all other school staff that work hard to help students grow and learn. We are honored to be able to go into schools and encourage positive choices with their students. We may present the message but the teachers and staff are the ones there every day to help reinforce it and for that we would like to say thank you. If you have not taken the time to thank a teacher recently, we encourage you to do so this week. Those small words of encouragement can make all the difference and they surely deserve it.

Pro Highlight: Daniel Muir

POSTED ON April 23rd, 2015  - POSTED IN Uncategorized

Daniel MuirI grew up in the church my whole life but I strayed away during my years in high school and college. When I was blessed with the opportunity to play football in the NFL I was in the worst state of my life. The way that I tried to make things better was to smoke, drink, take advantage of women, and cheat my way through. Living this life, I was not able to have any joy or peace in my life at all. There came a time when I was very close to losing my wife and son and I knew something had to change. I had been running from GOD my whole life and knew I needed to run towards Him. I truly accepted the Lord in my life and today I live happily with my wife and our three sons. Jesus Christ gave me the joy and peace I was looking for on my own and I thank Him daily!

 

Fun Facts:

  1. What has been one of the best teams you have been on and why?

I loved playing for the Colts because of their winning record and I got to start in the Super Bowl.

  1. What was the best stadium that you played in and why?

The University of Phoenix Stadium was my favorite stadium to play in because it is an indoor field but has real grass.

  1. Who is a “hero” in your life   and why?

My high school coach, Michael Rucker, is one of my heroes. He taught me the importance of working hard.

  1. What is your favorite food?

My favorite food is ackee and saltfish with callaloo and fried dumplings.

  1. What is your favorite movie?

My favorite movie growing up was the Sandlot.

  1. What are your hobbies?

I love to cook!

“Hopelessness to Transformation” A Letter from The Phoenix School of Discovery

POSTED ON April 23rd, 2015  - POSTED IN Uncategorized

Dear Friends at Sports World,

photo 12I simply cannot thank you enough for the superlative opportunities you have afforded us here at The Phoenix School of Discovery, a JCPS Alternative School for low-income, atypical, somewhat fragile youth. From the instant Nicole Grady offered this incredible opportunity, to the moments of delivery by such dedicated athletes, like Steve Grant and Devon McDonald, we were TRANSFORMED!

The first time Nicole contacted us, she assured us we would really enjoy Steve. “Enjoy” was not the word!!! He “captured” us all…students, teachers, administrators, security guards… We were “wowed” by his encouraging, positive exhortations and the kids left dazed and amazed at what they had felt and heard. His second visit was even more impactful than the first, engaging the kids in an interactive discussion about dating, personal expectations, life purpose, and goals. It was tremendous.

Then, another call from Nicole (thank you, Nicole!) came. Sports World had another representative she would like us to invite, and I did not have to think twice!! Needless to say, Devon McDonald presented to our entire student body and they were spellbound (quite a feat for our population!) during the entire delivery.

They connected with Devon’s personal stories of failure, lost dreams, periods of hopelessness, and the often depressing realities of life, but immediately were influenced and empowered and lifted by his stories of setting goals and meeting them, choosing the standard of excellence for himself, developing respectful relationships around him and most of all, realizing that every choice he made would have a consequence or a benefit. It was brilliant!!

Devon had no idea, but at that very time, one of our male students was considering suicide, had actually attempted it once before, and had just spoken to me in the moments prior to his presentation. I stood beside that boy on the gym floor watching him as he listened to Devon. I honestly had no idea how what Devon was saying was affecting him.

After Devon finished his message, the boy asked me if he could go up and meet him, because he had made him see that “even famous people” go through the same things as he has suffered. He had no idea. Devon had just saved this boy’s life. I told Devon after I introduced the boy to him and he went on with his classmates and Devon was visibly moved, almost to tears. He stood in amazement and we basically rejoiced together. That, my friends, was no less than a miracle…and that young man is doing great today!!!!

I don’t know how many other students in other schools have been transformed like those in our school, but Sports World has played a major role in giving our kids hope, connections to real and successful people, and has empowered them (by real men living real lives sharing real failures and real successes) to tackle their obstacles and use their failures as foundation stones to their futures.

We have been transformed by our exposure to Sports World and the dedicated advocates that serve there. We are privileged and honored to have hosted such astute, gracious, and influential guests at the Phoenix and hope our relationship will continue for many more years. We cannot do our students justice, without your input and opportunity. “It takes a village…” and I am so glad we are a part of yours.

And by the way, our motto at Phoenix is

RISE, TRANSFORM, and SOAR.

Sports World surely must have thought of it first!!!!!

With my utmost gratitude and respect,

 

Nancy Breitenstein

High School Counselor

The Phoenix School of Discovery