Texas Emergency Management ONLINE 2016 Vol. 63 No. 2

Texas Emergency Management Briefs, Tips and Links

Texas Emergency Management Conference

2016 Texas Emergency Management Conference!
Tuesday, April 5 Friday, April 8, 2016
Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, San Antonio, Texas
Registration opens Monday, April 4, 2016
**New family track workshops are coming!

Aggressive driving includes potentially dangerous actions such as tailgating, erratic lane changing and illegal passing. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, up to 56 percent of fatal crashes result from some type of aggressive driving. Extreme cases of aggressive driving become road rage incidents. AAA Foundation looked at 10,000 road rage incidents over the last seven years and found that they resulted in at least 218 murders and 12,610 injury cases. Texas witnessed several high-profile cases of road rage recently, including the murder of a college student who was shot to death in a road rage incident.

One. Don’t Offend

  • Cutting Off. When you merge, make sure you have plenty of room. Use your turn signal to show your intentions before making a move.
  • Driving Slowly in the Left Lane. If you are in the left lane and someone wants to pass, move over and let them by. You may be “in the right” because you are traveling at the speed limit -- but you may also be putting yourself in danger by making drivers behind you angry.
  • Tailgating. Drivers get angry when they are followed too closely. Allow at least a two-second space between your car and the car ahead.
  • Gestures. Almost nothing makes another driver angrier than an obscene gesture. Keep your hands on the wheel. Avoid making any gestures that might anger another driver.

Two. Don’t Engage

  • Steer Clear. Give angry drivers lots of room. A driver you may have offended can “snap” and become truly dangerous.
  • Avoid Eye Contact. If another driver is acting angry with you, don’t make eye contact. Looking or staring at another driver can turn an impersonal encounter between two vehicles into a personal duel.
  • Get Help. If you believe the other driver is following you or is trying to start a fight, get help. Do not get out of your car. Do not go home.

Three. Adjust Your Attitude

  • Forget Winning. For too many motorists, driving becomes a contest. Allow more time for your trip. You’ll be amazed at how much more relaxed you feel when you have a few extra minutes. So instead of trying to “make good time,” try to “make time good.”
  • Put Yourself in Other Driver’s Shoes. Instead of judging the other driver, try to imagine why he or she is driving that way. Someone speeding and constantly changing lanes may be a volunteer fireman or a physician rushing to a hospital. Someone who jerks from one lane to another may have a bee in the car or a crying baby. Whatever their reason, it has nothing to do with you.
  • If You Think You Have a Problem, Get Help. Courses in anger management have been shown to reduce heart attacks. Drivers who successfully “reinvent” their approach to the road report dramatic changes in attitude and behavior.

AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety
How to Avoid Aggressive Driving Brochure

About 2.4 million middle and high school students were current (past 30-day) users of electronic cigarettes, or e-cigarettes, in 2014. Most e-cigarettes contain nicotine, which causes addiction, may harm brain development, and could lead to continued tobacco product use among youth. Tobacco product advertising can entice youth to use tobacco, and spending to advertise e-cigarettes has increased rapidly since 2011. About 69 percent of middle and high school students were exposed to e-cigarette advertisements in retail stores, on the Internet, in magazines and newspapers or on TV and movies. Exposure to e-cigarette advertisements may be contributing to increases in e-cigarette use among youth. Efforts by states, communities, and others could reduce this exposure.

CDC: E-cigarette Ads and Youth

According to an article published by HealthDay News, there may not be enough of the right kind of resources available for children during a major public health emergency in the U.S.

The medical requirements for children often are very different than what is needed for adults. Drugs meant for use during large biological or chemical incidents are generally only developed and tested on military personnel, so formulations and dosing and safety information has not been addressed for use with children. Young children also have difficulty swallowing pills or drinking fluids because of how they taste.

The American Academy of Pediatrics’ Disaster Preparedness Advisory Council published a statement addressing the special needs of children during major emergencies and possible remedies for ensuring communities are prepared to protect and care for children with disaster strikes.

"Children represent nearly a quarter of the U.S. population, but they are affected disproportionately by most disasters and public health emergencies," the AAP team said. "The recommendations outlined in this statement should be used to guide pediatricians; federal, state, and local government agencies; and others in addressing this need."

The statement was published online January 4 and will appear in the February print issue of the journal Pediatrics.

American Academy of Pediatrics; Children & Disasters
FDA Drug Research and Children
CDC: Caring for Children in a Disaster

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