Make It Home for the Holidays

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is once again teaming up with law enforcement across the United States during the 2019 Holiday Season to increase enforcement targeting the traffic safety issue of impaired driving. The enforcement campaigns, Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over and If You Feel Different, You Drive Different. Drive High, Get a DUI, run from December 13, 2019, through January 1, 2020 to coincide with the 2019 holiday season. The Holiday Season is one of the deadliest times of the year in terms of impaired-driving fatalities.

NHTSA reminds us, “It doesn’t matter what term you use: If a person is feeling a little high, buzzed, stoned, wasted, or drunk, he or she is impaired and should never get behind the wheel.”

Extra Space

No time to read a long-winded BLOnG? Welcome to the Three-Second-Stop mini-Blog.

Today’s Three Seconds: Three-Second PLUS Rule

3 Second Stop

Under normal driving conditions, the “Three-Second Rule” works great in determining following distance and should give you plenty of time and space to avoid a collision.  Sometimes, however, you may need to add additional space to the equation, and this is called the “Three-Second PLUS Rule.” Here are some instances when you need to leave extra space and increase your following distance to 4 seconds or more:

  • When visibility is poor.
  • In adverse weather conditions.
  • On poorly paved roads.
  • When following a motorcyclist.
  • When towing a trailer or are carrying a heavy load.
  • When being tailgated.

For a more in-depth look at the 3-Second Rule check out our blog on Following Distance.

Look Before You Park

Colored Curbs


Recently I noticed a couple vehicles attempting to park next to a red painted curb, which in California is a big no-no. Curb markings are painted different colors to indicate what type of parking, if any, is permitted. California curb colors and their meanings are as follows:

  • Red: Parking, stopping, or standing is PROHIBITED at all times, except a bus may stop in a red zone marked or posted as a bus loading zone.
  • White: Reserved for very brief stops for the purpose of loading or unloading passengers or depositing mail in an adjacent mailbox.
  • Blue: Parking is permitted for vehicles displaying disabled placards or license plates.
  • Green: Reserved for vehicles to park for a limited amount of time. Look for time limits painted on the curb or on a sign posted next to the green zone.
  • Yellow: Loading Zones usually reserved for commercial vehicles. Drivers may stop only long enough to unload passengers or freight. Drivers of non-commercial vehicles are usually required to stay with the vehicle.

Parking regulations and the use of colored curbs are set by local authorities. To find out designated curb colors near you, be sure to familiarize yourself with your local and state laws.

Little Pedestrians

National Walk to School Day

You may notice an increase in children walking to school next week. National Walk to School Day is October 2, 2019. The movement encourages communities to promote health and safer routes for students to walk to school. Children pose a special traffic problem because of their unpredictability. You should exercise extreme caution when driving by schools, parks, and through residential streets. Keep your speed down, scan the sides of the roads, and be prepared to stop at any time.

In California, unless otherwise posted, the speed limit is 25 mph within 500 to 1,000 feet of a school while children are outside or crossing the street. Some cities throughout California have adopted lower speed limits in school zones and have posted signs showing the speed as low as 15 mph.

Labor Day Weekend

 
 
Summer is drawing to a close. For many families the Labor Day weekend is a time for one last road trip before getting back into the school year groove. More people on the roads means greater potential for something to go wrong. While you enjoy your holiday please be vigilant behind the wheel and remember to:

  • Stay alert and drive defensively
  • Wear your seat belt
  • Drive sober
  • Avoid drowsy driving
  • Avoid driving distractions

Independence Day


July 4th is a celebration of American independence and freedom. Don’t jeopardize your freedom by drinking and driving. Law enforcement across the US are taking part in the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign during the 4th of July holiday period, June 29 through July 5, 2019, to put an end to drunk driving.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that over the 4th of July holiday period in 2017 (6 p.m. June 30 to 5:59 a.m. July 5), 601 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes. 39% (237) of those fatalities occurred in alcohol-impaired crashes. This is a 23% increase from 2016, during which 192 people were killed during the same holiday period. NHTSA urges drivers to designate a sober driver before heading out for the evening. If you plan on drinking, plan on not driving.

Temperature Rising

 

‘Look Before You Lock’ PSA from KidsAndCars.org is a good reminder to not leave children in cars in order to avoid heatstroke fatalities. In a new study, Consumer Reports found that, “Even on days with mild temperatures, the heat inside a closed vehicle can reach dangerous levels within an hour, posing major health risks to small children or pets left inside.”

For additional tips and information, check out our past posts Vehicular Heatstroke and Supervision Required.

Blinded by Light

No time to read a long-winded BLOnG? Welcome to the Three-Second-Stop mini-Blog.

Today’s Three Seconds: Sun Glare

3 Second StopDriving in bright sunlight can pose a threat, even more so if your windshield is dirty. Cleaning your windshield (both inside and out) should be done often. In normal daylight conditions, a dirty windshield can reduce your visibility and in high sunlight situations, a dirty windshield can lead to having no visibility at all. If you’re having problems seeing due to sun glare, remember that others on the road are having the same trouble. Leave yourself sufficient following distance and be extra alert.