2019 Resolutions for the Road
With the start of a new year comes the opportunity to set the bar high in being a better person. In addition to the goals you and your family have set for yourself this year, we hope you will pledge to be a safer driver.
We’ve curated a list of resolutions for motorists to adhere to in making the Carolina roads safer:
- Disconnect and Drive. One out of every five traffic deaths involves distracted driving. Be a safer driver and put your phone away in 2019. Don’t check emails, texts or social media. Don’t eat behind the wheel or groom yourself while driving.
◦ In doing our part to combat this epidemic, AAA Carolinas will help to champion a proposed Hands-Free NC bill.
- Don’t Drink and Drive. Always have a designated sober driver in place before drinking takes place. Commit to downloading a ride-sharing app such as Uber or Lyft – which are handy services that are easy to use and offer special features like extra-large vehicles and vehicles for those needing special assistance.
- Wear your Seatbelt. This is probably the simplest pledge that can make the greatest difference. 50 percent of people involved in a crash that are not wearing a seatbelt are killed. Use your seatbelt at all times and make sure you are teaching your children to do the same.
- Obey Speed Limits and Understand Road Conditions. Always adhere to the posted speed limit as speeding is a factor in almost one third of all traffic related deaths. At the same time, be a safer driver by understanding the conditions of the road in each situation. If you deem the roads to be unsafe, for example if they are icy or wet, go slower than the limit to prevent a crash. Drive to the conditions.
- Share the Road. Always scan the road for pedestrians, bicyclists and animals. Slow your vehicle as you approach them.
- Have a Conversation with your Teen. Teen drivers are one of the most vulnerable groups on the road. Talk to your teen about all of the distractions and dangerous factors they are facing and how to combat those to get to their destination safely every time.
- Protect your Vehicle. Perform regular tire checks and routine maintenance to ensure your car runs smoothly on the roads.
Why Warming Your Car in the Morning is a Bad Idea
With cold temperatures in many parts of the Carolinas right now, it’s tempting to want to go out and warm up your vehicle before you head to work or school. However AAA Carolinas advises against it. First, it’s unnecessary and a waste of gas. Secondly, warming your car and leaving it idle is a very easy way to get it stolen.
If you think warming your vehicle up in a garage is safe, think again. Idling your car in the garage – even if the door is open – is extremely dangerous as it allows fumes containing carbon monoxide to cloud in the area. What’s worse, if your garage is attached to your home, those gases can spread to the entire house as well. Idling in the garage can also cause a build-up of grime and other particles in the building over the years.
Studies have also revealed that idling can actually wear down your vehicle over time, as the practice forces an engine to operate in a very inefficient mode that can eventually degrade the engine’s performance and as stated earlier, waste fuel.
And there is the obvious fact that, idling produces exhaust which is hazardous to human health and creates air pollution.
So this winter, pass on idling your car in the garage or driveway in the morning. Driving warms the car faster than idling, so it is better to get on your way and let the car warm itself naturally. Don’t forget to buckle up!
Milestone for VIP for a VIP
One of our partner programs – VIP for a VIP – is celebrating 20 years of service. “Vehicle Injury Prevention for a Very Important Person” was conceived in 1998 when off-duty firefighters Steve Zimmerman and Larry Cockman came upon a vehicle crash involving two teens who skipped school for the day. Both teens were killed. Steve and Larry struggled with the senseless loss following the crash and this drove them to develop a program dedicated to educating teens on the power of a car.
Steve and Larry thought “if teens could only see what we see” when responding to an avoidable incident on the road, maybe they will take more precaution behind the wheel.
The first VIP for a VIP demonstration was done at Northeast Guilford High School, NC in the spring of 1998. The organization averages about 20 events each spring and has traveled to high schools across the state, equipped with smashed in vehicles and bloodied actors to display the gruesome details of a crash.
The group simulates graphic crashes to engage with teens and show them the gravity of the situation. Following the crash, first-responders will then arrive on scene and tend to the damage. The organization even has parents and loved ones show up to the scene of the crash to find their children sprawled out across the pavement.
The organization highlights drinking and driving, distracted driving, speeding, not wearing seatbelts and inexperience. VIP for a VIP aims to stay relevant for its audience as the causes for crashes may change over the next 20 years, but the need for safer drivers remains the same.
We wish to congratulate VIP for a VIP on 20 years of serving the community and we are proud to work alongside an organization that recognized a need and sought to change lives. We look forward to being a part of the evolution of the organization as it continues to educate and spread awareness toward today’s teens before they get behind the wheel.
Super Bowl Safety Tips
Whether your team is playing in the Super Bowl this year or not, you’re probably still gearing up for the big show. For fans planning to watch the Super Bowl over drinks, we want to remind you to make a plan now to get home safely because nobody wins when you get behind the wheel impaired.
AAA Carolinas offers the following Super Bowl safety tips for those attending a viewing party:
- Decide whether you are drinking or driving for the night – you cannot do both.
- Plan your ride home in advance – designate a sober or commit to using a taxi service/ride sharing service.
- Download a ride-sharing app such as Uber or Lyft for convenience. Familiarize yourself with the app beforehand.
- Be aware of those around you. If you see someone getting behind the wheel intoxicated, take their keys and assist them in finding a safe ride home.
- If you see a driver on the road who you suspect is impaired, pull over to a safe spot and call 911 – giving police a description of the vehicle.
Super Bowl safety tips for those hosting a viewing party:
- If you are hosting a party with alcohol, be a responsible host. Allow guests to stay the night if they need to or find them a safe ride home.
- Have a selection of non-alcoholic beverages on hand.
- Stop serving alcohol at least an hour before your guests go home.
- Serve plenty of food and snacks.
- If you see a guest getting into a vehicle while intoxicated, kindly take their keys and help them find an alternative way home.
Super Bowl safety extends after the party as well. Motorists are also advised to keep an eye out for pedestrians who have had too much to drink. They may suddenly stumble into the road, jaywalk, or disobey traffic signals. Walking while intoxicated can also be deadly, as diminished coordination and limited attention puts drunk pedestrians at risk of getting hit by a vehicle. Pedestrians are urged to keep an eye out for cars, cross at intersections, and obey walk signals.
When it comes to preventing drinking and driving, we all need to be on the same team.