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Sunday, May 24, 2020

October 2017 Traffic Safety Newsletter

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Be Prepared During Hurricane Season

With hurricane season still underway, we want to make sure you’re prepared. Having a plan to reduce potential loss during severe weather conditions can be beneficial after the storm has passed. Here are some precautionary steps you and your family can take:

 

Create a corresponding communications plan. Decide how you will contact one another during a storm. Have every family member carry contact cards, and program emergency contacts in their cell phones. Come up with a predetermined meeting place and designate an out-of-state contact who can relay messages to family members in case local phone lines are down or overloaded.

 

Draft a family evacuation plan. Having a plan is the first step to staying safe. Determine where you will go and how you will get there. Learn hurricane evacuation routes and the locations of local shelters. Don’t forget to include pets as part of the plan.

 

Stock a disaster supply kit with first aid supplies, water, and batteries. Make sure you also have enough pantry supplies and gas in your car. According to Ready.gov, a basic disaster kit should include a gallon of water per person for at least three days, a three-day supply of food, a battery-powered radio, a flashlight, a first-aid kit, a whistle, dust masks, moist towelettes, a wrench, maps, a can opener, and cell phone chargers.

 

Protect your car. Since your vehicle is one of your biggest investments, make sure you safeguard it during hurricane season as well. Make sure you know what is covered in your vehicle’s automobile insurance policy in case of storm damage. If a storm is in the forecast, make sure your car is gassed up and parked in a garage if possible, or at least next to a building to protect it from high winds. Should you have to drive your car through a downpour, avoid cruise control and never drive through standing water. If your vehicle glass is damaged during a storm, our partnership with Safelite can get you repaired back on the road quickly and easily.

 

Make sure you and your family know what to do in the event of a hurricane and are prepared in the case of a storm in your area.  If there is damage, take any steps necessary to prevent further damage and contact our AAA Insurance claims department at 800-228-9224.

Ensure Everyone is a Winner at the Next Tailgate

An important essential that fans often leave out of their game day list is a plan to get home.

Research suggests that spectators of football games report higher consumption of alcohol on game days than during parties or other social events. Between the excitement of tailgating before the big kickoff, the roller coaster of the game itself, and the celebrations or grievances depending on the outcome, fans tend to drink.

Bloomberg reports that one out of every ten fans leaving a football game will be legally intoxicated.

 

In order to ensure that both teams come away with one type of win on game day, AAA Carolinas Foundation for Traffic Safety urges you to be a team player and make a plan:

  • Determine a designated driver before the day begins. This person should completely refrain from alcohol.
  • Utilize a ride sharing service such as Uber, Lyft, or a local taxi service.
  • Never get into a car with a driver who has been drinking.
  • Have a solidified plan before the day begins, so there are no decisions to make after alcohol is consumed.

 

In addition, pedestrians leaving football games are in grave danger of being struck by those who chose to drink and drive.

In 2015, almost half (48 percent) of crashes resulting in pedestrian deaths involved alcohol – whether that be the person behind the wheel or the person walking. Pedestrians leaving sporting events, such as a football game, are at a higher risk than average due to the high volume of traffic in the area at that time.

Motorists are impatiently trying to exit the grounds, many coming from busy parking lots and some visiting the area for the first time. Unfortunately, a large portion of those drivers have gotten behind the wheel after consuming alcohol. These factors among several others, put pedestrians exiting the stadium at risk.

 

AAA’s Distracted Driving Foundation urges pedestrians to be team players as well:

  • Utilize the sidewalks at all times.
  • Refrain from crossing streets illegally – as there is a higher volume of traffic than normal.
  • Look both ways repeatedly before stepping out onto a road.
  • Avoid engaging in distracting behaviors such as texting and walking, as this takes away your attention to the vehicles passing by.
  • Use your best judgement – be aware of swerving or speeding vehicles that pose the greatest threats.

 

Your team is counting on you to show up loud and spirited for the next game. Make sure that you do your part by having a game plan before drinking to ensure your safety and the safety of everyone on campus so alcohol doesn’t get the “W”.

 

Drowsy Driving Dangers

Missing just one to two hours of the recommended seven hours of sleep each day doubles a driver’s risk for a crash, according to AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety’s latest study. It’s an alarming statistic when you consider at least 35 percent of U.S drivers sleep less than the recommended seven hours, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

 

With school school underway and extracurriculars in full swing, drivers are busier than ever. AAA encourages Carolinians to get the full recommended amount of sleep each night despite their busy schedules as drowsy driving is now involved in one in five fatal crashes on U.S. roadways each year.

 

In addition to showing that the crash risk doubles when one hour of sleep is missed, the study also revealed that:

  • Five to six hours of sleep each night: 1.9 times greater crash risk
  • Four to five hours of sleep each night: 4.3 times greater crash risk
  • Less than four hours of sleep each night: 11.5 times greater crash risk

These numbers are especially staggering with more school children flooding the streets and sidewalks going to and from school.

Parents are shuttling their children from one activity to the next, often too busy to realize the signs of fatigue. These include: having trouble keeping eyes open, drifting from lanes or even not remembering the last few miles driven.

Not knowing you are tired may be the most dangerous aspect of drowsy driving. More than half of drivers involved in fatigue-related crashes experienced no symptoms before falling asleep behind the wheel.  AAA Carolinas urges drivers to not rely on their bodies to provide the warning signs of fatigue, but rather to always get the recommended sleep.

AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety- Drowsy Driving Video from AAA Public Affairs on Vimeo.
 

The automobile industry is trying to help combat the problem by equipping vehicles with features to alert a driver when they might be falling asleep at the wheel. Some of the recent new car technologies designed to curb drowsy driving are:

  • Lane-Keep Assist technology alerts drivers when the vehicle deviates from its traffic lane. Depending on the system, it will either vibrate the steering wheel, distribute a beeping noise to alert the driver, or even steer the motorist back into their lane.
  • Collision Warning System scans the road using a camera or radar and then alerts drivers as they near another vehicle that is stopping significantly faster than they are. It senses that its driver is not intending to stop quickly enough to avoid hitting the car in front of them. Some will beep and a break symbol will light up on the dash while others will even tap the brakes to assist the driver in coming to a stop.
  • Drowsiness Detection System monitors a vehicles movements and based on the wheel angle, lane deviation, time driven, etc. it will warn the driver to take a break with a sound and a coffee cup symbol lighting up on the dashboard.

 

As we continue to expand our schedules and strive to fit more into each day, having a car with these advanced technologies can save lives.

AAA Carolinas proudly works to connect Carolinians with the industry’s safest vehicles. Our team of dedicated vehicle experts has built lasting connections with the most reputable brands and understands the consumer’s need to find the safest vehicle for the most affordable price. Through our auto-buying program, drivers can find the best car for them in a comfortable and hassle-free environment. The process is simple – speak with a representative about what fits your needs, and we will do the rest.

With drowsy driving numbers as high as they are today, it is imperative that drivers make the time to add the recommended sleep to their schedule. With advanced technology available to make roads safer, AAA Carolinas encourages Carolinians to take advantage of it.

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