Watch for the Freeze from the Breeze
Many areas have had cold snaps with temperatures in the 30’s or below. This means you must be mindful of wet rainy roads which can change to ice in seconds. Even if the temperature is just above 32 degrees, a slight breeze will drop it below freezing. Hill tops and bridges freeze much faster than highways. Tree shaded off ramps and turns will freeze faster and take longer to thaw. Too many drivers make the mistake of exiting a dry highway and find themselves unprepared for an ice covered ramp. Be prepared, slow down, and look ahead for possible trouble.
U-Turns are Too High Risk
U-turns are the highest risk maneuver a truck can do while moving forward. When you make a U-turn you are, by definition, crossing through and interrupting the flow of all traffic lanes on the road while simultaneously putting all that traffic in your blind spot! Needless to say such a high risk maneuver should never be done. Instead go to a proper exit to find a safe place to turn around then reenter the street properly to go the opposite direction.
A professional driver should properly plan and know every turn on their route before they start driving. Please don’t rely on your GPS, doing so could put you in a situation where not even a U-turn is possible.
We’ve had several instances lately of drivers attempting a U-turn, getting stuck, and blocking traffic.
Making a U-turn with a tractor-trailer is a very risky maneuver, and definitely NOT a safe shortcut.
How to handle a Tailgater
Tailgaters are a threat to you, the other vehicles around them, and certainly themselves. If you suddenly stopped there can be an injury or death. The best way to handle a tailgater is to just relax and gently slow down. Build more space between you and the vehicle in front of you. In fact, the closer a vehicle is behind you the more space you need to have in front of you. Why?
1.By slowing down gently the tailgater may get the hint and go around you. This is effective because it is safe and professional.
2.Physics. The closer the tailgater is to you the less stopping distance he/she will have, which means you are in control of their safety in addition to yours. It is one of the reasons tailgating is a bad habit and incredibly unsafe – You are giving control of your vehicle to the driver in front of you. The driver behind you has done this so you need to build space so you can safely protect both of you.
Posted in Safety
Avoiding Slips, Trips, and Falls in Winter Weather
During icy and snowy conditions, the incidence of injuries due to slips and falls increases. Below are a number of suggestions which, if followed, can reduce the number of slips and falls or reduce injury if a fall occurs.
TO AVOID SLIPS:
1) Concentrate on the path ahead -- take your time and proceed slowly.
2) Where possible, avoid slippery surfaces -- take a route around obvious slippery hazards, such as wet leaves, icy areas and snow banks.
3) Wear appropriate footwear -- wear shoes or boots with rough (waffled, ridged or heavily textured) soles.
4) Use handrails wherever they are provided -- a secure handhold can prevent a fall if you should slip.
5) Check to be sure entrance halls and stairs are clear of snow and slush -- tracked in snow and slush often cause slips and falls.
6) Beware of changes in walking surfaces -- many falls are caused when someone doesn't realize he/she is leaving a secure area for a slippery one.
7) Clean your shoes when you go inside -- caked snow and ice on shoe soles can be treacherous.
IF YOU SLIP:
1) Try to roll with the fall if you begin to fall forward.
2) Sit down if you begin to fall backward -- when a falling person relaxes, an injury is less severe than when he/she tenses. Fighting a fall on ice can cause twisting or bending injuries which may be worse than the bump the fall would have produced.
A few precautions can prevent a serious and painful injury!
Holiday Accidents and Injuries By the Numbers
Many families will decorate their home for the holidays this weekend. It’s often small decisions – a candle left burning, a dry Christmas tree or child left alone even for a moment – that could have life-changing consequences. When it comes to holiday dangers, the numbers are more startling than you might think:
- In 2004-2008, an estimated 1,170 home fires per year began with decorations, excluding Christmas trees. These fires caused an annual average of 8 deaths, 54 injuries, and $19.1 million in property damage.
- Christmas tree and holiday decoration fires result in twice the injuries and 5 times more fatalities per fire than the average winter holiday fire.
- On average, 260 home fires begin with Christmas trees each year, resulting in 12 deaths, 24 injuries and $16.4 million in property damage.
- An additional 150 home fires per year begin with holiday lights and other decorative lighting, causing another 8 deaths, 16 injuries, and $8.9 million in property damage each year.
- Candles started 45% of home decoration fires.
- In addition to fires, 1000’s each year suffer slip and fall injuries (usually from ladders) while hanging holiday decorations.
Check all your lights, cords and plugs as you are decorating your tree this year. If you have a natural tree be sure to keep it watered to reduce the fire risk. Get assistance while hanging decorations. Keep an eye on children and set the rules around hot items, electric outlets and cords.
THANKSGIVING WEEKEND TRAVEL
AAA Travel reports nearly 46.9 million Americans will journey 50 miles or more from home during the Thanksgiving weekend.
The holiday travel forecast marks the seventh consecutive year of growth resulting in the most Thanksgiving travelers since 2007; resulting in a 0.6 percent jump from the 46.6 million people who traveled last year. The Thanksgiving holiday travel period is defined as Wednesday, November 25 to Monday, November 30.
Nearly 42 million Americans will take a holiday road trip this Thanksgiving, an increase of 0.7 percent over last year.
Inspect your vehicle diligently before heading out. Slow down. Be Alert. Be Safe!
Holiday Driving Stress
As if the holiday season isn't already stressful enough… an eight-hour drive to my parents' house with my 3 kids, my niece and nephew, the dog, and all the holiday gifts. The kids can’t behave for more than an hour. The dog is barking at everything we pass. I always end up yelling, threatening to leave one of them at the rest stop, or crying (for sympathy).
Whatever gifts haven’t been bought, will be addressed during the dreaded Black Friday!
Got any tips on how we can keep our cool and not completely lose the holiday spirit before we even get there?
You don't need to answer this question; you need to remember this is the family driving next to you this holiday season. So don't get frustrated when driving gets worse this holiday season. Start early, drive slower, give the four wheeler more space and be thankful you are not one of the kids in this van! Have a safe holiday.
This holiday week has long been known to be the most traveled of the year. As the traffic on the road increases so do the risks of aggressive driving and road rage. Anxiety and frustration can quickly spark an aggressive or careless driver who tailgates, speeds, fails to yield the right of way among other behaviors.
Experts recommend the following tips to help avoid road conflicts:
- Plan your route in advance. Some of the most erratic and inconsiderate driving occurs when motorists are lost.
- Make a conscious decision not to take your problems with you when you are driving.
- Combat the warning signs of stress by getting fresh air and breathing deeply and slowly. Listen to relaxing music.
- Before and during a long drive avoid heavy meals which tend to make a person lethargic.
- Drive in a courteous and considerate manner. Give way at busy intersections and where traffic lanes merge.
- Don’t compete or retaliate. If someone’s driving annoys you, don’t try to “educate them”. Leave traffic enforcement to the police.
- Don’t take other driver’s mistakes personally.
- Avoid honking your horn unless absolutely necessary and, if you must, tap on it lightly.
- If you are being physically threatened, stay in your vehicle and lock the doors. Call the police. Use your horn and lights to attract attention.
Do your part to keep the roads safe so everyone can make it to their holiday destination.
The single most effective way to save your life in the event of a crash is to buckle up – every trip, every time.
Reduction of Speed
Did You Know? You should reduce your speed by 1/3 on wet roads and by 1/2 or more on snow packed roads (i.e., if you would normally be traveling at a speed of 60 mph on dry pavement, then on a wet road you should reduce your speed to 40 mph, and on a snow-packed road you should reduce your speed to 30 mph). When you come upon slick, icy roads you should drive slowly and cautiously and pull off the road if you can no longer safely control the vehicle.