Accidental Assassin

Posted on by Defensive Driving | in My Kind of Driving

Do you know a silent killer when you smell one? One you should be on the look out for is carbon monoxide. It’s a colorless, odorless and tasteless gas which is slightly lighter than air. It is highly toxic to humans and animals in higher quantities, although it is also produced in normal animal metabolism in low quantities, and is thought to have some normal biological functions. Carbon monoxide is a major atmospheric pollutant in some urban areas, chiefly from the exhaust of internal combustion engines. In closed environments the concentration of carbon monoxide can easily rise to lethal levels. On average, 170 people in the United States die every year from carbon monoxide produced by non-automotive consumer products. However, according to the Florida Department of Health, “every year more than 500 Americans die from accidental exposure to carbon monoxide and thousands more across the U.S. require emergency medical care for non-fatal carbon monoxide poisoning”

Why am I reporting this on a state approved defensive driving blog? Because this winter has produced a stir of snow storms leaving people trapped and stranded on highways across America in their cars. As the drivers sits in a toasty vehicle the snow falls and covers the tail pipe of the car thus turning it into an accidental assassin.

So here’s a tip: Get outside the car and feel around to the back end. Find the tailpipe and clear all the snow away from it. This is really important because if it gets plugged up, carbon monoxide will get into the car when you run the heater.

For more information on our driver safety school and driving different road conditions, DefensiveDriving.com has a great demonstrative video that goes in great depth in teaching drivers how to be safe.

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