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.
Another year is coming to a close and we at TrafficSchool.com would like to thank you for your business and pass on a wish for you in the New Year. We hope the upcoming year will be happy and healthy for you and yours. Wishing you all the best in 2018 and please remember to drive yourself and those you love safely.
September 24 – 30, 2017
The fourth week of September marks the first national Rail Safety Week. The U.S. Department of Transportation and other associations aim to educate the public and remind us that railroads are dangerous. Did you know railways and rail yards are private property? Each year, around 1,000 people are killed or injured trespassing on or near railroads.
Some things to keep in mind next time you encounter train tracks:
Never cross tracks anywhere other than a public crossing and even then, only cross when it is safe to do so.
In an average year, there are approximately 2,500 collisions between trains and motor vehicles, resulting in roughly 250 people killed and 1,000 more injured.
Never try to beat a train or try to go around or under closed crossing gates.
A typical train takes over a mile to come to a complete stop and the majority of vehicle-train crashes occur when the train is traveling at speeds between 40-49 mph.
On average in the United States, 37 children die from heatstroke each year as a result of being left in a vehicle. Between 1990 and 2016 there have been a total of 793 vehicular heatstroke deaths. Over half (55%) are a result of being left behind unknowingly by a parent or caregiver. Another 28% occurred due to a child getting into the vehicle on their own.
According to KidsAndCars.org, 27 children have died in hot cars so far this year. The KidsAndCars.org safety campaign, “Look Before You Lock,” provides parents and caregivers an important safety checklist aimed at preventing heatstroke tragedies.
Avoid leaving your child alone in the car:
- Get in the habit of always opening the back door and checking the back seat before leaving your vehicle.
- Put something you will need, like a purse or a cell phone, in the back seat so you will have to open the back door to get it once you are parked.
- Keep a stuffed animal in baby’s car seat. Each time your child is in the car seat, put the stuffed animal in the front seat as a reminder that baby is in the car.
- Ask your child care provider to call if you have not dropped your child off as usual.
Make sure your child can’t get into your car:
- Keep your vehicle locked at all times, even in your garage or driveway.
- Keep your keys and clickers in a safe place out of your child’s reach.
- If your child goes missing, check inside your vehicle and trunk right away.
Quick Tips for Holiday Travels
AAA estimates there will be 48.7 million travelers this Thanksgiving holiday weekend starting today, November 23, 2016 through Sunday, November 27, 2016. For those of you traveling on highways and byways, here are a few helpful safety reminders.
Before you leave:
- Check your tires are properly inflated and that your tire tread is healthy (no bald spots).
- Be sure to pack an emergency kit: a flashlight, blankets, jumper cables, a first aid kit, drinking water, non-perishable snacks, and a cell phone.
- Buckle up. Make sure you and all your passengers are properly secured in an approved and appropriate seat belt and/or child passenger restraint system.
On the road:
- Obey the posted limit signs. Speed limits are set for your safety. Also, you’ll save a little money with better gas mileage.
- Avoid unnecessary lane changes. Remember, frequently changing lanes to pass other vehicles increases your risk of having a collision. If you do pass, remember to pass on the left and look for the other vehicle’s headlights in your rearview mirror before you return to your lane. For large trucks you want to see the cab of the truck in your rearview mirror before going back into the lane.
- No drinking and driving. If you have been drinking alcohol, don’t drive. If you plan on drinking, set up a designated driver before you start.
Have a Happy and Safe Holiday Season!
How Do You Rate?
Seat belt use in the United States has been steadily rising since 2000. There has also been a consistent decrease in unrestrained passenger vehicle occupant fatalities in the daytime.
The overall National average seat-belt use in 2015 was 88.5%. The Western States have the highest average with 95.0% and the Midwest has a ways to go coming in at 81.7%.
As you can image, States that have Primary Seat Belt laws (an officer can ticket you for the sole reason you are not wearing a seat-belt) have a higher rate of seat belt use as compared to States that have secondary enforcement laws (requires an officer to pull you over for another reason before you can receive a citation for not using your seat belt.)
Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Report No. DOT HS 812 243
April 11-15, 2016: Respect the Orange
The week of April 11-15, 2016, the Federal Highway Administration encourages, “Don’t Be THAT Driver!” This year’s National Work Zone Awareness theme focuses on a current road safety topic: distracted driving. Construction zones are dangerous enough without mixing in the added hazard of driving distractions. With so much confusion going on in a work zone, taking your eyes off the road, hands off the wheel and/or mind off of driving, even for a second, can lead to an unfortunate crash. Besides being aware of in-vehicle distractions also avoid the temptation to try and see what the road workers are doing. Remember to slow down to a safe speed, drive more cautiously and focus on the task at hand.
A new study by AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, Measuring Cognitive Distraction in the Automobile III: A Comparison of Ten 2015 In-Vehicle Information Systems (October 2015), examined the effect of several different In-Vehicle Information Systems on mental performance while driving. Participants of the study were asked to complete voice initiated tasks such as dialing a phone number, placing a call to a contact or making a song selection.
One finding to note, it took up to 27 seconds for the driver to return their full attention back to driving after completing a task. The driver’s hands were on the wheel and eyes were on the road, but for 27 seconds their mind was not on driving. Driving needs your complete attention and involves continuous and complex coordination between your mind and body.
The study also revealed that practice does not may perfect. Participants kept a vehicle for five days to familiarize themselves with the technology. Even after a week of practice, activities required about the same amount of mental concentration as when it was first attempted.
No matter what potential distractions await you while on the road, it is up to you, the driver, to always focus on your driving.
Used Motor Oil Recycling
Did you know motor oil doesn’t wear out? It just gets dirty. Which means it can be recycled and reused in several ways. All over the U.S. there are used oil collection locations available. These organizations allow the average Joe to dispose of old motor oil, which in turn keeps that oil out of our ground water and waterways. Next time you change the oil in your car, or even your lawnmower, collect the dingy oil in a metal or plastic container to be recycled. These collection centers should also accept old oil filters and bottles. To find a collection center near you, visit http://search.earth911.com/american-petroleum-institute.php.
Another quick tip to keep oil out of our water is don’t try to hose down spilled oil. Rather use absorbent towels to wipe up the mess.