Holiday safety – alcohol, driving and empty homes

Leaving Home for the holidays

  • house-insurance-419058_640Ensure the house is securely locked, including windows usually left open
  • Cancel newspapers and redirect your mail or have it collected by a friend
  • Put pets into a boarding kennel or have friends visit them often
  • Tell neighbours or friends who can check on the house, you are away and whom will be at the house legitimately – e.g. gardeners, pet minders
  • Secure your garage or, if unable – move items such as bikes inside the house
  • Consider security devices, including light timers etc.
  • Do not leave cash in the house and locate jewellery in a safe place
  • Ensure your lawn is cut, the property tidy and stop all deliveries
  • Avoid leaving the answering machine on and turn the phone volume down

Young people and alcohol

Young people and particularly those under the age of 18 are vulnerable to the damaging effects of alcohol.cocktail-594173__180

  • In Australia alcohol is a key factor in the three leading causes of death among adolescents; unintentional injury, homicide and suicide.
  • Over one in five (22%) of all hospitalisations of young people aged 15-24 years old are alcohol related.
  • Of all those hospitalised, 30% of young men and 23% of young women are hospitalised because of an alcohol related assault.

As well as the serious and obvious health consequences of underage drinking, alcohol places the drinker and those around them at considerable risk of harm. Alcohol use, particularly excessive use can increase young people’s risk of becoming a victim and / or an offender of alcohol related crime, often violent crime such as sexual assault, physical assault, robbery, driving accidents, violence and antisocial behaviour offences.

Driving distractions and crash risk

Distractions that divert attention from driving increase your risk of crashing.

automobile-160339__180Recent research suggests that at least 14 per cent of all crashes involve the driver being distracted by something inside or outside the vehicle. As many as one in ten fatalities have been directly attributed to driver distraction. Yet even though surveys have indicated that 98 per cent of people believe that using a mobile phone while driving, for example, is very dangerous, 28 per cent of people admit to doing it themselves.

Typically, the two biggest distractions inside the vehicle are other passengers and adjusting the sound system. Research has also shown that drivers using mobile phones and Global Positioning Systems (GPS) while driving are also much more likely to be involved in crashes. Text entry into a GPS unit while driving can be extremely dangerous. Sending and receiving text messages on a mobile phone while driving is also extremely dangerous, and is also illegal.

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