Driver Safety Tips for the holiday weekend.

I got an email today from a reader, Jennifer, at JA Jones Consulting. She forwarded a press release from Radarsign regarding Driver Safety on Memorial Day weekend. According to the press release, Memorial Day weekend is the third most dangerous holiday for vehicular traffic. I wanted to include the release here with the hopes that we can all take away some positive suggestions for our safety this weekend.

Alpharetta, GA – May 2009 — Nearly forty million drivers are expected to fill highways and byways this coming holiday weekend according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. Memorial Day weekend is the third most perilous holiday for vehicular traffic. Thanksgiving holds the number one spot, with Independence Day at number two. Labor Day and New Year’s Eve round out the top five.

Radarsign, the leading manufacturer and retailer of driver feedback signs, today released TEN TIPS TO ROAD SAFETY as vacationers hit the streets.

1. Don’t drive drowsy. According to the National Sleep Foundation’s Report on Drowsy Driving, 100,000 reported crashes, 71,000 injuries and 1,550 deaths every year are attributed to drivers falling asleep at the wheel. Add to that heavy holiday traffic and you have a recipe for disaster. If you are feeling drowsy, get off the road.

2. Wear your seat belt. The DOT reports fifty percent of all vehicular deaths could have been prevented with seat belts.

3. Signal your intentions. Every move you make on the road impacts the decisions and actions of others. By signaling your intention to turn or change lanes, you ensure others are alert to your movements.

4. Do not tailgate. Leave a distance equal to one car’s length for every ten miles per hour. For example, if you are traveling fifty miles an hour, you should fall back a distance equal to five car lengths from the vehicle in front of you.

5. Move away from tailgaters. Many drivers attempt to “teach” a lesson to tailgaters by tapping their brakes telling the other driver to back off. Tailgaters typically exercise poor judgement and endanger themselves and others – especially when challenged. The best thing to do is move out of the way and let the tailgater safely pass you.

6. Avoid standing water. If you must drive through water, do so slowly and avoid sudden use of your brakes, turning too sharply or excessive acceleration. If you do hydroplane (an instance where the tread cannot channel the rainwater from under your tires), do not hit the brakes. Reduce your speed by taking your foot off the accelerator and turning the wheel in the direction you want to travel.

7. Know pedestrian rights. Always be aware of pedestrians at intersections and remember pedestrians have the right of way.

8. Turn on your headlights when visibility is low. The sobering statistic is that while only 25% of the miles we drive are at night, about 50% of the fatalities occur in the darkness–25,000 people each year.

9. Obey the speed limit. A difference of only five miles an hour can be the difference between life and death.

10. Stay alert! Talking on a cell phone, texting, reading maps – even listening to voice-directed GPS systems – can distract you from the road and lead to accidents.

“Every eighteen seconds a U.S. driver is involved in an auto accident and every 11 minutes someone dies in a car crash.” said Charlie Robeson, co-Founder of Radarsign. “Road safety is a serious issue; that’s why Radarsigns are affordable enough to be purchased by anyone and flexible enough to be put anywhere speeding is a problem. In the meantime, we hope everyone follows these driver safety tips and has a happy and safe holiday weekend.”

The only obvious addendum I would add is the obvious…don’t drive drunk. I’d like to think it goes without saying, but unfortunately, it’s still a daily occurrence. Let’s set a better example!

Thanks, Jennifer, for the reminder! Have a fantastic weekend, everyone, but remember to stay safe. Your families depend on you getting home in one piece.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic. Snark is encouraged. Being a prat is not.

3 thoughts on “Driver Safety Tips for the holiday weekend.

  1. Ha #5
    Many drivers attempt to "teach" a lesson to tailgaters by tapping their brakes telling the other driver to back off.Just the other day on a local 2 lane hwy (YV), I watched this ass in my mirror change lanes multiple times to get past cars.
    I'm doing speed limit +5, I figured I better play it safe and let off a bit to match the speed of the car next to me. This guy got right on my ass and then pulls left so his lights are in my mirror, and starts flashing his high beams.
    Well I figured there was something wrong so I slammed on my breaks (you know to stop and help him as fast as I could). The look on his face was priceless. He overreacted so bad that for a second I thought he was going off the road. But all was well, I let him pass. We met at the next light. Exchanged a few gestures, and went on with the day..

  2. Re #4 and #5: the highway I take to work every day is only 2 lanes and is pretty congested. The speed limit is 100 km / hour. So I'm guessing you would need 5 or so car lengths between cars. HA HA HA! So not happening. I often have a car within 1 foot of the rear of my car (in the "fast", another HAR DE HAR HAR) lane. Throw in the big trucks about 1 car length behind you and this makes for very dangerous driving. When I feel someone is too close to me I usually gently tap the brakes and hold up my hand to signal for them to give me some room. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. I don't usually have the luxury of moving out of the way (since it is only 2 lanes and very congested). I dread driving this highway and never drive it in rainy or inclement weather, unless impossible to avoid. I make my husband drive me then, since I drive a sports car and he drives a minivan. As for the impatient drivers who zig and zag through rush hour traffic (which is the only time I drive) …. get a life. There is no possible safe way to get there faster, don't you understand? And every time one of these idiots zips back into the "fast" lane, the speed drops 20 or 30 km / hour because everyone has to hit their brakes. Duh … do the math! Can you tell I hate driving on the freeway?

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