Girl Scouts Earn AAA Car Care Badge
AAA Car Care opened its doors and service bays to host Girl Scout troop 599 to give high school girls in the community the chance to get hands-on experience from a trained car care professional and learn tips for taking care of their vehicles.
The troop met at the W.T. Harris AAA Car Care center in Charlotte with regional manager Scott Stillwell and Car Care manager Jamel Gathers. There they were first given a “what do you know” quiz to gauge their knowledge of vehicles before the lesson.
On the way to earning their car care badge, the troop members were taught basic car care maintenance, how to check tire pressure, how to change a tire, what each light represents on the dashboard, and the basic information under the hood – including how to check oil.
Armed with the confidence to take care of themselves in the event of car trouble, the troop then met with Traffic Safety Manager Nicole McGarity to discuss driver safety. They learned about one of the most pertinent issues facing them behind the wheel: distracted driving. Next, they participated in a “fatal vision” exercise with drunk simulation goggles.
At the conclusion of their lesson, the girls were awarded the Car Care badge. To receive this honor, a Girl Scout must:
- Get a handle on basic car maintenance
- Investigate vehicle safety
- Research safe driving practices
- Understand what to do in an emergency
- Drive for a greener world
AAA Carolinas enjoyed taking the time to equip teens in the community with the information necessary to take care of car issues. We hope to continue to host events such as the car care badge going forward.
AAA Carolinas Attends ‘Walk Like MADD’
Mothers Against Drunk Driving hosted its tenth annual Walk Like MADD event in Greenville, South Carolina over the weekend and AAA Carolinas was a proud sponsor.
Participants in the Walk Like Madd, including families affected by drunk-driving, gathered on Sunday, October 7, to walk and raise $18,000 toward impaired driving awareness and prevention. AAA Carolinas had a booth stationed during the event to help spread awareness about our mission to end drunk driving.
In 2016 in South Carolina, drunk driving caused 6,136 collisions resulting in 331 fatalities – which is 35 more than the year prior. According to MADD, there are 10,497 deaths a year due to impaired driving – which is 29 deaths a day.
MADD was founded in 1980 and now has locations spread across the U.S. Since its founding, the nation has seen a 50 percent decrease in drunk driving deaths on the roads. Each chapter holds fundraisers, events and community walks such as Walk like MADD to raise money for the cause.
School Bus Safety Week – It’s Not Just for Kids
Next week, October 21-27, is National School Bus Safety Week. In preparation, the North Carolina State Highway Patrol began a campaign called “Operation Stop Arm” on October 15. During the campaign, troopers will monitor bus routes at the beginning and end of the school day to cite violators for passing a stopped school bus.
In 2016 in North Carolina there were 930 reported school bus crashes resulting in 781 injuries and 4 fatalities, according to the NCDOT. Additionally, NC Highway Patrol said that 3,100 cars pass stopped school buses in NC each year. In South Carolina, there were 443 collisions resulting in 222 injuries and 4 fatalities, according to the SCDPS.
“School buses are carrying our most precious cargo and they rely on all motorists to adhere to the law when they are stopped and when children are crossing,” said Tiffany Wright, AAA Carolinas Foundation for Traffic Safety President. “We want to remind motorists to always be alert for slowing or stopped school buses because the penalty for not doing so can be very high.”
Even college rivals can come together to encourage caution around school buses for all motorists to raise awareness or to promote traffic safety.
School bus safety tips for motorists encountering a stopped school bus:
• Two-lane roadway: when school bus stops, all traffic from both directions must stop.
• Two-lane roadway with a center turning lane: when school bus stops, all traffic from both directions must stop.
• Four-lane roadway without a median separation: when school bus stops, all traffic from both directions must stop.
• Any divided highway with a median: when school bus stops, only traffic following the bus must stop.
• Roadway of four lanes or more with a center turning lane: when school bus stops, only traffic following the bus must stop.
School bus safety tips for bus riders:
• Stand at least three giant steps back from the curb as the bus approaches.
• Wait for the school bus to come to a complete stop before boarding.
• If you must cross in front of the bus to cross the street, make eye contact with the driver and cross only when the driver indicates it’s safe.
• If you drop something around the bus, let your bus driver know so they do not lose sight of you trying to pick it up.
Halloween Safety Tips
Trick-or-Treaters and adult costumed partygoers will soon be flooding the streets and neighborhoods for Halloween celebrations throughout the Carolinas. As you prepare, be sure to take into account these Halloween safety tips. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Halloween is consistently among the top days of the year for pedestrian injuries and fatalities. NHTSA data reveals that one-third of Halloween crash fatalities involve a pedestrian and from 2009 to 2016, 43 percent of all traffic deaths on Halloween involved a drunk driver.
“Don’t become a scary statistic this Halloween,” said AAA Carolinas Foundation for Traffic Safety President Tiffany Wright. “What should be a fun holiday can turn into a real life horror story when people fail to take the proper safety precautions during the festivities.”
Halloween Safety Tips for Motorists:
- If possible, avoid driving during the “haunting hours” between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. – the time when trick-or-treaters will be the most active.
- Park your mobile phone: Avoid distractions by staying off of your phone; this includes talking, texting or using other apps. Disconnect and Drive.
- Yield to pedestrians: Children may not stop for your approaching car because they do not see it or they do not understand how to safely cross the street.
- No passing: Don’t pass stopped vehicles as the driver may be dropping off children or have stopped for trick-or-treaters you cannot yet see.
- Drive slowly: Be especially alert in residential neighborhoods; excited trick-or-treaters can move in unpredictable ways.
- Turn your headlights on: Even if it is still daylight out, it helps to have your lights on so children may better see your approaching car.
Halloween Safety Tips for Parents and Trick-or-Treaters:
- Always be seen: Carry flashlights, wear brightly colored costumes and add reflective tape to increase visibility.
- Know what you’re eating: Have all candy checked by a trusted adult prior to consumption.
- Stay with your group: Never accept rides from strangers and hold hands with a friend or family member.
- Safety in numbers: Travel in groups and plan the route ahead of time.
- Stop at well-lit homes: Stay clear of dark houses.
- Avoid trips and falls: Wear well-fitting costumes, masks and shoes.
- Avoid the street: Walk on the sidewalk at all times and look both ways repeatedly before crossing the street.
Halloween Safety Tips for Partygoers:
- Always Plan Ahead: Designate a sober driver before the party begins.
- Drinking Means No Driving: Never get behind the wheel when you have been drinking or ride in a car driven by someone who has.
- Call a Ride: Use a taxi service, Lyft or Uber.
- Help Others: Don’t hesitate to take the keys from friends or family members who may be impaired.
- Be a Responsible Host: Make sure you have alcohol-free drinks as an option.
- Report a Drunk Driver: If you encounter an impaired driver on the road, keep a safe distance and ask a passenger to call 911 (or pull over to a safe location to make the call yourself).
- Remember: Prescription, over-the-counter medications and illegal drugs can also impair your ability to drive safely.
We hope these Halloween Safety Tips help in the coming weeks. For more seasonal traffic safety tips, please subscribe to our AAA Carolinas Foundation for Traffic Safety e-newsletter. By clicking the button below, you will be registered to receive an email each month with the latest information regarding traffic safety, including travel forecasts and automotive trends.
Have a Spooktacular Halloween from all of us at AAA Carolinas!