Millions of Americans are expected to be hitting the road this Fourth of July weekend. As vacationers get ready to travel the Northern Nevada highways like Interstate 80, U.S. Highways 95 or 50, Banner Churchill Community Hospital’s Emergency Medical Service (EMS) is preparing itself for a very busy holiday weekend.
“We’re there to help people if they need us during the holiday weekend, but they have to remember that if they plan to travel the highways, they also need to plan on how they’re going to get to their destination safely,” said Steve Tafoya, Banner Churchill’s ambulance services senior manager. “If you’re a parent traveling with small children, the best thing you can do to keep them safe is make sure they’re buckled up at all times. If your child needs to be in a car seat or booster seat, make sure they’re properly installed,” said Tafoya.
According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, three out of four car seats are not properly installed and that could prove deadly if parents don’t have their child buckled in correctly. Tafoya said they offer a car seat installation station at Banner Churchill. “If parents are not sure if their child’s car seat is secured properly before they travel, I urge them to come down here so we can make sure that it’s installed correctly. The last thing we want to have to do is respond to a severe accident where the child was not properly restrained,” said Tafoya.
Historically, Fourth of July has been the deadliest time to travel on the road. Tafoya said his crew responds to a lot of motor vehicle accidents during this time of year and treats all kinds of severe injuries, most particularly blunt trauma. He reminds people that children are not the only ones susceptible to these types of injuries. “If you’re an adult, keep your seat belt buckled while the car is in motion. Slow down, get plenty of rest before traveling, and if you’re drinking, don’t drive. We respond to so many injuries that I can’t even begin to tell you what we’ve seen in the past. Some of the accidents we go to are minor, others are severe, and we have those that unfortunately are deadly.”