Roadway Safety

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While we are dedicated to promoting safety every day, we’re taking extra steps during June, National Safety Month, to raise awareness about important and timely safety issues. With the busy summer travel season upon us, this week, we’re focusing on roadway safety. Whether you’re planning a road trip or just commuting to work, the tips below can help you stay safe! 

A Leading Cause of Accidents

Distracted driving is a leading cause of accidents on the road. The National Safety Council (NSC) identifies three main types of distractions:

  1. Visual Distractions: These occur when you take your eyes off the road. Common examples include looking at a GPS, turning to check on a child in the back seat, or looking at something outside the car.
  2. Manual Distractions: These happen when you take your hands off the wheel. Activities like eating, adjusting the radio, or using a cellphone fall into this category.
  3. Cognitive Distractions: These occur when your mind is not focused on driving. This can happen if you are daydreaming, stressed, or preoccupied with something other than driving.

How to Avoid Distracted Driving

  • Prepare Before You Go: Adjust your mirrors, pick your music or podcast, and set your GPS before you start driving. This helps you stay focused and keep your eyes on the road.
  • Don’t Multitask: Keep your hands on the wheel and avoid tasks like eating, grooming, or using your phone while driving. If you need to make a call or attend to something, pull over safely.
  • Stay Focused: Driving requires your full attention. Avoid engaging in intense conversations, and if you find your mind wandering, take a break.

Be Prepared for Emergencies

The NSC also recommends that everyvehicle should have an emergency supply kit in the trunk. Kits should be checked every six months, and expired items should be replaced regularly.

A few important items to keep in your car emergency kit are below – for the NSC’s full list, click here:

  • A properly inflated spare tire, wheel wrench and tripod jack
  • Jumper cables
  • Tool kit and/or a multipurpose utility tool
  • Flashlight, extra batteries and phone charger
  • Reflective triangles to make your vehicle more visible if stranded
  • First aid kit
  • Drinking water and nonperishable, high-energy foods

Good Reminders for Everyday SAFE Driving

  • Follow Speed Limits: Adhere to posted speed limits and adjust your speed according to road and weather conditions. Speeding reduces your reaction time and increases the severity of accidents.
  • Use Seat Belts: Ensure that you and all passengers are wearing seat belts at all times. Seat belts save lives by reducing the risk of injury during a crash.
  • Maintain Safe Following Distances: Keep a safe distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you. This allows you ample time to react if the vehicle ahead suddenly stops.
  • Stay Sober: Never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. These substances impair your ability to make quick decisions and react to road conditions.
  • Use Indicators: Always use your turn signals to communicate your intentions to other drivers. This helps prevent accidents by making your actions predictable.
  • Check Blind Spots: Always check your blind spots before changing lanes or merging onto a highway. Use your mirrors and look over your shoulder to ensure the lane is clear.
  • Be Aware of Weather Conditions: Adjust your driving according to weather conditions. Rain, snow, and fog can reduce visibility and road traction, so drive more cautiously during inclement weather.
  • Stay Calm: Road rage can lead to aggressive driving behaviors. Stay calm and patient, even in frustrating traffic situations.

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