Too Hot to Handle

With summer officially beginning on June 21st, temperatures are starting to rise. July is usually the hottest month out of the year and this was even more true last year when a new record was set. According to NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), July 2021 was the hottest month ever recorded in human history. As temperatures rise so does the risk of heatstroke, especially for vulnerable children and animals left alone in vehicles. Since 1998, 912 children have died from Pediatric Vehicular Heatstroke (PVH).

Even if you’re not a parent or a caregiver, you can still do your part in preventing a tragedy. Always make sure to lock your car doors to avoid unattended children going into your vehicle. And if you see a child alone in a car, call 911, then try to get them out immediately. The same goes for dogs and other animal companions. PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) states that in 2021, 59 animals died after being left in hot cars, and those are just the ones that were reported.

All hot car deaths can be prevented. Whether we are parents, caretakers, or just bystanders, we can all be alert and aware to make sure the number of hot car deaths for both children and animals no longer rises.

Summertime Dangers

With summer just a few months away we have a few tips to make your summer a safe one.

Summer brings sunnier days and sunnier days make for harsh sun glare. Sun glare can be extremely dangerous while driving. The NHTSA or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states that sun glare is the cause of approximately 9,000 accidents per year. Make sure to have a pair of sunglasses to shield your eyes, but be sure to avoid frames with wide side pieces that reduce your ability to see to the side!

With summer also comes heat and we tend to change our choice of footwear to something lighter. While flip-flops are great for the pool or for walking along the beach, they can be a hazard while driving since they can get stuck underneath the brake or the accelerator. Experts even claim that flip-flops can actually double the time that it takes for a driver to brake. Flip-flop accidents are not that rare. In 2013, a study was conducted and it turned out that 7% of drivers who were polled had actually crashed or nearly caused a crash because of the flimsy sandals!

Have a safe summer and another quick summer reminder: Never leave children or animals in the car unattended. The temperatures in a vehicle can reach dangerously high temperatures in just minutes.

Drowsy Driving is Dangerous Driving

The majority of drivers are guilty of it, driving drowsy. We’ve all had late nights and had to be up in the early morning. The CDC estimates that 1 in 25 drivers over the age of 18 have reported falling asleep while driving within the previous month.

Although we might not put much thought to it, driving drowsy is extremely dangerous. It can lead to the driver falling asleep behind the wheel and causing an accident. According to the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) it is estimated that 83,000 crashes between the years 2005 and 2009 were caused by drowsy drivers.

In order to avoid driving drowsy make sure to plan ahead and get enough sleep the night before. However, life is unexpected and plans don’t always work out so if you end up having to go somewhere and are drowsy try opting for a car service, public transit, or ask a friend/family member for a ride. There are many affordable options that one can take in order to avoid driving while sleep deprived. Driving is a big responsibility, remember to be responsible and be a safe driver.

*This traffic safety topic is covered in our 8-hour California Traffic School course for traffic tickets. If you need traffic school to keep a moving violation hidden on your driving record, sign up today at https://www.trafficschool.com/california/california-traffic-school/?source=blog_01202022

Party with a Plan

If your Halloween weekend includes celebrating with cocktails, be sure to make plans for a sober ride home in advance.  The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reminds us that Buzzed Driving Is Drunk Driving. According to NHTSA, 41% of all people killed in motor vehicle crashes on Halloween night from 2015 to 2019 were in crashes involving a drunk driver.  Since Halloween lands on a Sunday this year, that will likely mean more parties throughout the weekend, with more opportunities to make responsible choices.  Enjoy your spooky parties, but have a designated driver, or use public transportation or a ride service to get home safely!

Memorial Day Weekend

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Whatever your plans are for this Memorial Day weekend, be sure they include staying safe on the road.  Don’t take chances.  Follow this simple strategy to reduce your risk behind the wheel:

  • Don’t drive after drinking alcohol.
  • Don’t drive impaired by drugs.
  • Don’t drive distracted.
  • Always wear your seat belt.

Stay safe and enjoy your extended weekend!

Railroad Crossing Safety

Today marks the start of a three week Rail Grade Crossing Campaign reminding motorists:

Stop. Trains Can’t.

Between 2015 and 2019, there have been 3,460 collisions between rail transit trains and motor vehicles, resulting in 60 motor vehicle fatalities and 1,078 injuries. Ignoring rail grade lights and caution signs could cost you your life. Always observe all railroad signals and signs, and proceed when it is appropriate to do so. Never attempt to cross railroad tracks until you have enough space to successfully clear all tracks.

Drowsy Driving Prevention

Sunday, November 1st marks the end of daylight saving time and kicks off the being of National Sleep Foundation’s Drowsy Driving Prevention Week. In a study, AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety estimated that in the United States drowsy driving is responsible for 328,000 crashes annually and that of those drowsy driving crashes 109,000 resulted in injuries and about 6,400 were fatal crashes.  National Sleep Foundation urges everyone to put sleep first and drive when alert and refreshed.  Check out the news clip below for great safety reminders and tips on avoiding drowsy driving!

Safer on the Road

No Speeding Please

Due to less traffic on the roads in the last few months, more citations for excessive speed have been issued throughout the US. Even with less traffic, speeding motorists put themselves at greater risk. Speeding can lead to loss of vehicle control. Speeding increases the potential for more last second braking which increases the risk of a collision. Traveling at higher speeds mean less reaction time to respond to other collision factors, like other motorist’s driving errors, equipment failure, and poor roads. In addition, a crash at higher speeds will have a greater force of impact than at lower speeds. So even though an open road may be tempting you to drive a little faster, please continue to take your time and get to where you are going safe and sound.

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.”