Thursday, September 1, 2011
Labor Day Weekend Traffic Safety Alert
Labor Day Weekend is one of the most deadly holidays for fatal alcohol-related traffic crashes. Nationally, it is estimated that hundreds of people will die in traffic crashes during the holiday period. As we approach one of the deadliest travel weekends of the year, the Evergreen Safety Council is issuing a Holiday Traffic Safety Alert.
“Chances are you will be sharing the road with intoxicated drivers during the Labor Day holiday,” said Tom Odegaard, Executive Director, Evergreen Safety Council. “We encourage the use of designated drivers and common sense to make sure everyone has a safe and fun holiday.”
“Even if you beat the odds and manage to walk away from an impaired-driving crash alive, the trauma and financial costs of a crash or an arrest for driving while impaired can still destroy your life,” said Tom Odegaard. Violators face jail time, loss of their driver licenses, or are often sentenced to use ignition interlocks or alcohol monitoring devices. Their insurance rates go up. Other financial hits include attorney fees, court costs, lost time at work, and the potential loss of job or job prospects. When family, friends and co-workers find out, violators can also face tremendous personal embarrassment and humiliation.
“Driving impaired is simply not worth all the consequences. So don’t take the chance. Remember, “Driver Sober or Get Pulled Over,” said Tom Odegaard.
The Evergreen Safety Council offers these tips for remaining safe on the road:
Wear your seat belt:
• Buckle up! Seat belts reduce your risk of fatality by 45% in a traffic accident, but must be used to work.
• Use both lap and shoulder belts whenever possible.
• Insure a proper fit for your seat belt.
Never Drink and Drive:
• Alcohol is the single largest factor involved in motor vehicle deaths.
• Have a responsible designated driver when you head out for Labor Day activities.
Be aware of drunk drivers (here are some signs):
• Drivers who turn with a wide radius.
• Drivers at speeds 10 miles below the speed limit or speeding excessively.
• Drivers who are following too closely.
• Drivers who have a slow response to traffic signals.
Use defensive driving:
• Maintain a proper following distance from other vehicles. The rule of thumb is three seconds following distance plus one additional second for each hazard, such as rain or heavy traffic.
• Scan the road environment ten to fifteen seconds ahead of your vehicle.
• Check your mirrors and your surroundings often.
• Watch for tailgaters. If someone is tailgating, slow down to increase following distance and encourage the tailgater to pass.