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!
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.
Tune in and pick up some helpful tips on driving in adverse weather conditions. Allstate Insurance’s video is short and sweet, but also packed with useful information on handling fog, ice, and heavy rain.
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.”
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.
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.
April is right around the corner, which means it is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. This video from National Safety Council shines a light on the myth of multitasking while driving.
The holiday season means holiday shopping for many. The Turlock PD shared a video with three simple tips to help avoid your parked vehicle being the target of a break in.
- Lock your doors.
- Roll your windows all the way up.
- Don’t leave your personal belongings in plain sight.
St. Patrick’s Day 2018
St. Patrick’s Day for many means drinking lots of green beer. In fact, March 17th is ranked the 4th most popular drinking day behind New Year’s Eve, Christmas, and the 4th of July, according to WalletHub. So, while you are preparing for a fun night out, take a look at these sobering statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and as always, please remember that drinking and driving don’t mix.
- St. Patrick’s Day is one of the deadliest holidays on our nation’s roads. During the 2012-2016 St. Patrick’s Day holiday period (6 p.m. March 16 to 5:59 a.m. March 18), 269 lives were lost due in drunk-driving crashes.
- In 2016 alone, 60 people (39% of all crash fatalities) were killed in drunk-driving crashes over the St. Patrick’s Day holiday period.
- Between midnight and 5:59 a.m. March 18, 2016, almost three-fourths (69%) of crash fatalities involved a drunk driver.
- Walking home from the bar after a night out partying? That can also be dangerous. In 2016, 36% of the pedestrians killed in crashes had blood alcohol concentrations (BAC) of .08 or higher.
Please make arrangements in advance to get home safely. Have a designated driver in your group, plan to use public transportation, or utilize Uber or Lyft. Bottom line, be sure you have a sober ride lined up before you take your first sip.
Cannabis Use in Vehicles
Effective January 1, 2018, the California vehicle code has been updated to make it illegal to smoke or ingest marijuana or any marijuana product when driving or riding as a passenger in a vehicle. Drugged driving laws have been in place for many years, but this law specifically addresses the use of cannabis products while driving.
Marijuana and driving don’t mix. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), marijuana negatively affects a number of skills required for safe driving, such as slow reaction time and your ability to make decisions. The California Office of Traffic Safety states that the effects of marijuana are strongest during the first hour of use and driving right after using marijuana could double your risk of being in a crash. The National Institute on Drug Abuse also notes that after alcohol, marijuana is the drug most often found in the blood of drivers involved in crashes.
So please remember, driving under the influence of drugs, even legal drugs, is not only unsafe, but is also a crime.