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.

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.

Road Hazard

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

Today’s Three Seconds: Flooded Roadways

3 Second StopExcessive rain can lead to flooded roadways which pose a danger for drivers. Six inches of water on a roadway can impair your car and cause it to stall. Twelve inches of water could cause your vehicle to float. Standing water on the road can hide debris, downed power lines, and sink holes. If at all possible you should attempt to find a different route when you come across a flooded roadway. If you have no other option but to proceed through standing water, then drive very slowly and after you have exited the water, dry your brakes by driving slowly and braking lightly. If you think the water is deeper than six inches, do not attempt to drive through it.

Holiday Travels and Aggressive Driving

 

An interesting report from GasBuddy found that Americans tend to drive 175% more aggressively during the holidays. GasBuddy looked at the number of instances quick accelerating, hard braking, and speeding occurred during the Thanksgiving holiday (November 21 – 25, 2018). The results showed that these aggressive driving events happened most often on the day leading up to the holiday. Aggressive driving is not only dangerous, it is also hard on your gas consumption. This is something to keep in mind with upcoming holiday travels. Some tips for your holiday trips: Plan ahead so you have plenty of time to reach your destination. Take a deep breath, relax, and drive with courtesy. Our goal should be for us all to get where we are going safely. Drive safe and have a happy holiday season!

Night Driving

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

Today’s Three Seconds: Overdriving Your Headlights

3 Second StopOver half of motor vehicle crashes happen when it is dark out. For this reason we should remind ourselves to be even more aware of our surroundings at night.  An issue to avoid when driving at night is overdriving your headlights. Overdriving your headlights occurs when you cannot stop within the space lighted by your headlights, or in other words, by the time you can see a hazard ahead, you don’t have enough time to stop or respond safely. Instead you should drive at a slow enough speed so that your vision in your headlights is greater or equal to your stopping distance.

Defensive Driving Tip

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

Today’s Three Seconds: IPDE Technique

3 Second StopAn essential part of defensive driving is being alert and attentive to your driving environment. At all times when driving, you must be aware of what is happening all around your vehicle, continuously scanning and searching for potential problems that may lead to a collision.

The “IPDE” technique is a four-step system used by drivers to anticipate and avoid collisions. IPDE stands for Identify, Predict, Decide, Execute and simply means:

1. Identify the potential problem.
2. Predict how the potential problem will affect you.
3. Decide what things you can do to avoid the potential problem.
4. Execute the maneuver that best avoids the potential problem.

Terror on the Highway

Wrong Way Drivers

Having a driver who is driving right towards you at highway speeds is not only scary, but is also extremely dangerous. According to the Federal Highway Administration, in the US, wrong-way driving crashes result in 300 to 400 people killed each year on average, which represent about 1% of the total number of traffic related fatalities. Though the percentage is low, wrong-way crashes on divided highways are much more likely to result in fatal and serious injuries because they involve high speed, head-on collisions.

In a study, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) found that driving while impaired by alcohol is the primary cause of wrong-way driving collisions, with more than 60 percent of wrong-way collisions caused by drivers impaired by alcohol. They also found that wrong-way collisions occur most often at night and during the weekends, and they tend to take place in the lane closest to the median.

Tips for dealing with a wrong way driver start with defensive driving basics:

  • Always use your seat belts. A seat belt is the single most important safety equipment feature of your vehicle, but in order for safety belts to work, they must be worn properly and at all times while driving. A lap and shoulder belt worn properly increase your chances of surviving a collision by 3 to 4 times than if you are unrestrained.
  • Scan for hazards. Keep your eyes moving and remember to look further down the road. Scanning enables your eyes to take in the whole scene, enabling you to identify a hazard before it becomes a last-second crisis. You should also be constantly looking for an escape route or somewhere to go if you encounter a problem or hazard on the road.
  • Don’t drive distracted. Don’t allow yourself to become distracted by your cell phone, eating, drinking or even your kids. When you take focus off of driving, you increase the time it takes you to react to problems on the road, which will in turn increase your chances of getting into a collision.
  • At night, stay to the right side of the road, in the right lanes and avoid driving in the fast lane, or lane closed to the median, especially if your view is blocked by curves or hills.

If you do see a wrong way driver, then:

  • Reduce your speed and move to the right lane or shoulder as quickly as you can without losing control of your car. Once the wrong way driver has safely passed you, be sure to notify the authorities.
  • If you can’t move out of the wrong way driver’s path, avoid being hit head-on by turning your car sideways. Head on collisions have the highest fatality rate, so if you are going to get hit, it is better to be hit at an angle, if possible at or behind the rear wheels, than taking the full force of the crash head-on.