Category: Driver Safety Resources

Ten Tips for Safe Holiday Travel 

The holidays are typically filled with lots of celebration, love ones and for many people – driving. AAA predicts over 46.9 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more during the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday – 300,000 more than last year. With this influx of cars on the road, risks including speeding, drowsy driving and intoxication increase significantly.

Safety saves lives! To help prevent distracted, risky driving this holiday season, the National Coalition for Safer Roads encourages all motorists to just drive and follow these travel safety tips.

  1. Don’t drink and drive
  2. Have your car inspected – tire pressure, oil, etc.
  3. Fasten your seatbelt
  4. Inspect your seatbelt and those around you for a proper fit
  5. Plan trips when your focus and energy are high
  6. Limit distractions – avoid loud music, too many passengers, eating.
  7. Pay attention to road conditions and safety warnings
  8. Keep your distance from other cars
  9. Watch your speed
  10. Don’t over pack your car

 

Though many of these tips seem obvious, they each play a critical role in protecting lives and ensuring road safety over the holiday travel periods.  According to the Safer Roads Report 2014: Trends in Red-Light Running, Thanksgiving and Christmas are two of the most dangerous times of year on the road. In 2013, there were 31,790 reported red-light violations during Thanksgiving holiday period, and another 31,367 over Christmas holiday period. As we know, based on the red-light running fatality map released earlier this year, red-light running puts the lives of drivers and those around them at great risk.

The National Coalition for Safer Roads asks you to remember these tips as you head out on the road this year and remind others to follow these simple rules.

For more information about NCSR’s efforts to promote traffic safety, visit ncsrsafety.org.

 

The Safety Street weekly news roundup brings together a mix of road safety and transportation stories from around the web. It is published every week on Safety Street and is available on Twitter via @SaferRoadsUSA.

Buckle Up, Drive Safely This Christmas
Alabama Police Chief Terry Holden said if the current increase in traffic is any indication of what is yet to come during the Christmas holidays, it’s going to be heavy.
Source: TimesDaily

AAA: It’s Holiday Time So Don’t Let the ‘Spirits’ Move You
With more than 90% of holiday travelers driving to their destinations, AAA Southern New England urges motorists to be extra diligent about the dangers of impaired driving. According to the latest data from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety’s annual Traffic Safety Culture Index, 1 in 8 licensed drivers, who drink at least occasionally, reported having driven when they thought their alcohol level might have been close to, or possibly over, the legal limit in the past year.
Source: Easton Courier

Safety Officials Want Stricter Cell Phone Driving Laws
According to traffic safety officials, Washington’s texting while driving law isn’t tough enough on drivers. The Washington Traffic Safety Commission says we’re missing out on hundreds of thousands of federal dollars to enforce distracted driving laws, because the laws aren’t tough enough.
Source: KGMI News

Traffic Fatalities Fell in 2013, But There’s Still Plenty of Room for Improvement
Traffic fatalities have been on the decline for years, tumbling 25 percent in the last decade alone. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that 2013 continued that trend, with the fatality rate hovering at an all-time low — though there’s still plenty of room for improvement.
Source: The Car Connection

Record-Setting 98.6 Million Americans Traveling this Holiday Season
AAA now projects 98.6 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home during the year-end holiday season, an increase of four percent from the 94.8 million people who traveled last year. This upward trend marks the highest forecast growth rate for the year-end holiday season since 2009 and the highest travel volume for the holiday period on record. (AAA data dates back to 2001.) The year-end holiday period is defined as Tuesday, December 23 to Sunday, January 4.
Source: World Property Journal

As the holiday season continues, communities and safety organizations remain dedicated to promoting safe driving techniques nationwide. The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) member State Highway Safety Offices, for example, are working with law enforcement officials and other community partners to keep impaired drivers off the roads.

Their efforts to enhance safe and sober driving is especially important during the holiday season, for it is one of the most dangerous time of year on the roads. With millions of people on the road and unpredictable winter weather conditions, motorists are already at great risk while they travel to their holiday destinations. Adding impaired drivers to the dangerous and congested roads can turn the situation from risky to fatal.

During the national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign, which lasts from December 10-31st, more than 800 people lose their lives in vehicle crashes involving a drunk driver. According to GHSA Executive Director Jonathan Adkins, impaired driving contributes to one-third of all highway fatalities.

Though the primary focus of the safety programs is to reduce drunk driving, another growing issue the GHSA is working to address is drug-impaired driving. In attempt to decrease the number of injuries caused by drug-impaired driving, GHSA is working with states to provide research and recommendations on how to prevent it.

Whether it is from alcohol or drugs, or a combination of the two, driving under the influence puts the driver and other motorists on the road in danger, stressed Adkins.

The holiday season is a time for love and celebration, but it is also a time for caution and safety so that everyone can enjoy it. With millions of people on the road traveling long and short distances to spend time with family and friends, we need to be extra careful.

For tips on safe driving this holiday season, check out AAA’s Winter Driving Tips here.

The Safety Street weekly news roundup brings together a mix of road safety and transportation stories from around the web. It is published every week on Safety Street and is available on Twitter via @SaferRoadsUSA.

Top 5 Findings in New Jersey Department of Transportation 3rd Annual Red-Light Safety Camera Report
Red-light safety cameras turned in another year of positive results at intersections in New Jersey, and trends show “driver behavior is being modified,” according to the recently issued New Jersey Department of Transportation’s (NJDOT) third annual analysis of the photo enforcement program.
Source: NJ.com

Tennessee Council Votes To Extend Red-Light Vendor’s Contract
Buoyed by figures showing wrecks down at intersections across town, the City Council voted 5-1 Thursday to extend a vendor’s contract for one year to oversee an automated red-light enforcement system. American Traffic Solutions, which took over the program in March 2011, three years after Traffipax started it, will continue operating and maintaining the cameras until Nov. 30, 2015.
Source: The Post

HFM Prevention Council Urges Drivers to Stay Sober When Driving During The Holidays
According to the 2012 stats from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 1,168 traffic fatalities in New York and 422 (36 percent) of them involved alcohol. Nationally, the average for traffic fatalities in 2012 involving alcohol were about 36 percent, with a total of 12,041 deaths because someone choose to drive a car while their brain was affected by a drug called alcohol. According to Mothers’ Against Drunk Driving, about every 53 minutes someone is killed in a drunken-driving crash. There are also many more who are seriously injured.
Source: The Daily Gazette

Crash Victim’s Mother Speaks To Teens About Safe Driving Habits
Regina Stewart is honoring her son Chris, who was killed in a car crash by speaking to teens, by sharing her story of loss and raising awareness of safe driving practices at the annual New York Teen Safe Driving Coalition.
Source: The Record

Driving Safety Tips for Snow
With snow in the forecast, drivers are encouraged to take it slow and be prepared when hitting the road. The snow is expected to blanket parts of the area in the next few days, and so some drivers said they are now getting their winter driving kit ready. AAA Public Affairs Specialist Steve Pacer also recommends including a small snow shovel, snow brush and water in your winter driving kit, in case you get stuck.
Source: Time Warner Cable News

The National Coalition for Safer Roads (NCSR) helps save lives and protect communities by demonstrating how red-light safety cameras can improve driver behavior. 

The number of bicyclists killed in the U.S. is increasing, according to a recent report by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA). The report, Spotlight on Highway Safety, published earlier this month, notes that the annual number of bicyclist deaths increased 16 percent between 2010 and 2012, particularly affecting adult males 20 years and older in urban settings. As mentioned in GHSA’s report, bicyclist fatalities are an urban phenomenon. It stated that urban-related bicycle deaths made up 69 percent of the total bicyclist deaths in 2012. There were 722 deaths total in 2012 alone. The increase in fatalities correlates with an increase in bicyclist commuters in cities around the U.S., particularly in California, Florida, Illinois, New York, Michigan and Texas. In addition, the majority of the victims were not wearing helmets and 25 percent of them were alcohol-impaired. The report goes on to list recommendations on how to reduce bicycle-related collisions and injuries. Suggested methods include law enforcement, increased education of lawful and appropriate behavior regarding bicyclist/motorist interactions, efforts to increase helmet usage and infrastructure changes to facilitate road sharing. GHSA also found some states are turning to “Complete Street” policies and implementing environmental and engineering changes to accommodate bicycles and motor vehicles traveling in the same direction. They are also making improvements at intersections, where 37 percent of bicyclist deaths occurred in 2012. Additional efforts have been made to improve road sharing and reduce bicyclist fatalities. For example, some automotive companies like Ford are working to install technology equipment in their vehicles that can detect pedestrians and bicycles and automatically brakes the vehicle. For more information on GHSA and the report visit www.GHSA.org.

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