Make Your Own Luck

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.

Signs and Signals

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

Today’s Three Seconds: Using Hand Signals

3 Second Stop

Hand signals are something most of us learned when we first got our license and then didn’t think about too much afterwards. However, I do occasionally see a bicyclist sharing the road with me, using hand signals, so I thought it was a good idea to familiarize myself with them once again. Hand signals are also good to know in case your car’s blinkers are ever not working.

Left Turns: Driver’s left arm is extended straight out of the driver’s side window.

Right Turns: Driver’s left arm stretched out of the driver’s side window and bent upward at the elbow, with hand and fingers pointed toward the sky. (It should be noted that bicyclists may indicate a right turn by extending their right arm straight out to the right side of the bicycle.)

Slow or Stop: Driver’s left arm stretched out of the driver’s side window and bent downward at the elbow, with hand and fingers pointed toward the road.

Marijuana on the Road

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.

Farewell 2017

Welcome 2018!

Another year is coming to a close and we at 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.

The Eyes Have It

Scanning the Road

Sometimes we take driving for granted. With each uneventful drive we make, we begin to let our guard down. We start picking up bad habits like zoning out and staring at the bumper of the car in front of us. The problem with this is driving is always potentially dangerous and a routine drive can change in the blink of an eye.

A big part to driving defensively is using your eyes. A defensive driver actively scans the road ahead, checks to the left and right and glances in their mirrors regularly. Continuous eye movement will increase your awareness and give you more time to react in a hazardous situation. In addition to watching around your car, it is also good to look farther down the road. By spotting problems early, you will have time to make necessary adjustments in advance to avoid them.

No Tricks Just Treats

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

Today’s Three Seconds: Halloween Safety

3 Second StopAccording to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, “October 31st is one of the most dangerous nights of the year because of the deadly combination of alcohol and increased pedestrian traffic.” When you are out driving this Halloween be extra vigilant; slow down and stay alert, especially in areas pedestrians are likely to be. Things to look out for:

  • Small children that may dart into the street
  • Pedestrians in dark clothing
  • Party-goers walking while intoxicated
  • Stopped vehicles that may be unloading passengers

Get the Word Out

Communication on the Road

Communication with other drivers on the road is very important. Using standard equipment on your car, like turn signals, brake lights, hazard lights, headlights, and your horn, are all simple yet effective ways of telling everyone else what you intend to do next. Communication on the road can also be characterized by conveying your intentions to others through eye contact, body language, and hand signals, while simultaneously picking up on cues from other drivers and pedestrians.

Non-verbal interaction with other road users can help make the roadways much safer. For instance, you may notice another driver continuously looking over their shoulder. This is usually a good indication that they want to change lanes, and you can help by giving them the space they need.   Or perhaps you have stopped at an intersection and a pedestrian is at the street corner. Making eye contact and a simple nod of your head is often enough to tell the pedestrian, “I see you are going to cross the street.”

Turning Left? There’s a Blinker for That

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

Today’s Three Seconds: Signals: The Unsung Hero of the Highways

3 Second StopSignal Lamps, when used properly, tell other drivers that you plan to turn or to change lanes. Use your signals at least 100 feet prior to making a turn and activate your turn signal at least 5 seconds before changing lanes to allow other drivers to adjust their actions accordingly. When you are turning at an intersection, be very careful not to signal too early if there are other places to turn before the intersection. Another driver may think you intend to turn somewhere else, and could pull out in front of you.

Shake Those Moody Blues

Driving Attitude

Your mental and emotional state can significantly affect your actions while driving. If you bring a bad attitude into the car with you, it will cloud your driving decisions. Stress and emotions can hijack your mind and you may find yourself unaware of your driving environment or over-reacting to another driver’s bad driving behavior.

Having a positive, courteous attitude, and driving with your own safety, as well as other’s safety in mind, is key to making safe driving decisions. When behind the wheel, put aside negative thoughts that enter your mind and concentrate on driving instead. If you ever feel like you are having a bad day, or you just can’t shake your problems, avoid driving until you feel better.

Changing Time

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

Today’s Three Seconds: Daylight Saving Time Begins

3 Second Stop
Daylight saving time begins at 2:00 AM Sunday, March 12, which means we’ll move our clocks forward and lose an hour of sleep. The change in time can put our bodies off-kilter and it can take a few days to adapt. Be careful of drowsiness that could affect your driving ability and how you react to road and traffic conditions.