WHAT’S UP WEDNESDAY: 12/01/21

Wednesday, December 01, 2021

People wait for it every year — the air becomes a little cooler, and communities come to life in twinkling lights and festive décor. As exciting as the holidays are, they can also be the most dangerous time for driving. Driving conditions can change in seconds because of inclement weather, debris, blocked intersections, and overcrowded roads.

Drunk driving is not the only danger on the roads during the holidays. Aggressive driving, excessive speeding, and reckless driving can all result in severe consequences. Without warning, the happiest time of the year can quickly turn into a nightmare as people hurry to their holiday events, but some steps can be taken to reduce risks behind the wheel and stay safe on the roads this holiday season.

Holiday driving is particularly dangerous because of the increase in accidents and fatalities. There is so much to do in so little time, which leads to increased stress and less patience. The pandemic compounds the problem; stress levels are at an all-time high, and more people are likely to hit the roads this year rather than flying.

The holidays also tempt many people to have a spiked cider or eggnog before they head out on the roads. The season brings plenty of celebration and merriment, but it also means more impaired drivers on the road.

Accidents can happen at any time for any reason, but there are some dangers specific to the holiday season that threatens everyone’s safety during the happiest time of the year.

  • Drunk driving is responsible for its fair share of holiday accidents and fatalities each year. Although there may be fewer in-person holiday events this year, even small gatherings can tempt a typically careful driver to get behind the wheel while impaired.
  • Inclement weather can increase risk during the winter season. Snow, black ice, high winds, and hail can all make the holidays a challenging time to be on the road. As people travel during the holidays, many drivers face hazardous conditions.
  • Fatigued and stressed driving is especially prevalent during the holidays. People might travel further than normal, feel more pressed for time and, this year, in particular, tensions may run higher due to dealing with COVID-19.

As the holidays creep closer and closer, don’t take unnecessary risks with drunk driving or mobile phones, and keep in mind that arriving late is better than not arriving at all. Remember Santa is checking his list for naughty drivers!


WHAT’S UP WEDNESDAY: 11/10/21

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Today, November 10, 2021, Marines across the globe will recognize and acknowledge 246 years of service to their country, the sacrifices made to defend democracy, and the Marine Corps’ enduring legacy as America’s premier fighting force.

The Marine Corps’ annual tradition celebrates the establishment of the organization on November 10, 1775, by the Second Continental Congress. Following their role in the American Revolution, the Marines were abolished following the Treaty of Paris in April 1783. Then, on July 11, 1798, Congress ordered the creation of the Marine Corps and directed that it be available for service under the Secretary of the Navy.

The birthday, also known as Marine Corps Day, was originally celebrated on July 11 from 1799 until 1921 when Major General John A. Lejeune, 13th Commandant, issued an order to formalize the tradition and establish the official day to honor the birthday of the Marine Corps. The ceremony traditionally includes a guest of honor, a reading of Gen. Lejeune’s birthday message and the current Commandant’s message, recognition of the oldest and youngest Marine present, and a cake cutting.
In this year’s annual message, Commandant of the Marine Corps General David H. Berger and Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Troy Black pays tribute to the men and women who joined following September 11, 2001. These Marines were called to serve as an elite counter-insurgency force and made great contributions in the deserts of Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, and Northern Africa.
“As we mark the 20th anniversary of those who fought the war on terror and are now retiring, we want them to know that we appreciate their courage, sacrifice, and the valor they showed during this conflict,” said General Berger.
In the message, General Berger and Sergeant Major Black also share their vision for young Marines, who have important roles to play in continuing the legacy of Marines as amphibious warfighters.
“The next generation of Marines may operate differently and in different places than the Marines who wear the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor today. Yet they will join a long and proud heritage of Marine fighters who have never turned from a threat or an enemy. We will always remain most ready when our Nation is least ready because we must protect our shores and our citizens. And as the next evolution of warfighting becomes our reality, it will still be the Marines who defend this Nation,” said Gen. Berger.
On 10 November, regardless of where Marines are stationed, or deployed, whether they are still on Active Duty, Reserve, or a former Marine, you will always hear “Happy Birthday, Marine.”


WHAT’S UP WEDNESDAY: 11/03/21

Wednesday, November 03, 2021

 

The majority of Americans agree that drunk driving is wrong. But when it comes to texting while driving, motorists tend to take a more relaxed view, even though studies show that texting may be even more dangerous than driving while impaired.

Is Texting More Dangerous Than Drinking and Driving?

Research suggests that in some ways, texting is the new drunk driving. Even popular culture recognizes the phenomenon, dubbing texting while driving accidents as “intextigated” crashes. It’s a clever term, but hardly a laughing matter.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), driving a vehicle while texting is six times more dangerous than intoxicated driving. The Transport Research Laboratory found that writing a text message slows driver reactions by 35 percent while drinking alcohol up to the legal limit slows reactions by 12 percent. Another study stated that texting drivers react 23 percent slower than intoxicated drivers do.

It’s also important to note that motorists’ attitudes don’t always align with their actions. Most people insist that drinking and driving is wrong. It’s the same response with texting. In a recent AAA study, 96 percent of respondents identified texting while driving as a “dangerous” or “very dangerous” action. Yet 43.7 percent of them admitted to reading a text message while driving and 42.7 percent acknowledged typing one behind the wheel, even though they knew could get caught by police.

None of this is meant to dismiss the fact that drunk driving is still a serious problem in the United States. However, NHTSA reports that drunk driving fatalities have dropped by a third in the last 30 years. At the same time, it cautions that texting while driving crashes are likely underreported. No matter how you look at it, American motorists are facing a deadly double threat.

Life is busy, but it’s also precious. The solution is simple — just don’t text while driving. If you really can’t wait to read a message, pull over and stop first. If you’re afraid you’ll give in to temptation, put the phone out of reach or ask a passenger to read the message and reply for you. When driving, safety for you, your passengers, your fellow motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclists should always be the top priority. Too many people believe they can multitask while driving when in reality it’s something the human brain is incapable of. It’s just not worth the risk.


WHAT’S UP WEDNESDAY: 10/20/21

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Can’t help but use your rear-view mirror or visor mirror as a mini vanity in the morning or on the way to a date? If you’re applying mascara or shaving behind the wheel, you could be jeopardizing your life and the safety of others.

According to Distraction.gov, the U.S. Government’s website dedicated solely to distracted driving (in addition to texting or talking, putting on make up and getting ready while driving is considered distracted driving), more than 3,100 people were killed in 2019 as a result of crashes involving a distracted driver. While that number might not seem high, an estimated additional 416,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver. The government doesn’t track deaths and injuries related only to beautification, but experts say it’s a definite no-no.

An alert driver needs 1.5 seconds to react to something that happens on the roads. So if you’re cruising along the Causeway driving 65 mph, you’ll travel 153 feet (half a football field) while reacting to a stopped car, a car that merges, or changes lanes suddenly, etc.

Putting on make-up while driving, along with any other distracting activities, doubles the reaction time a driver needs to be put their foot on the brake. Taking 3 seconds to react to something in the road, road condition, or fellow drivers, a driver going 65 mph will travel 286 feet between the time they spot an obstacle and put their foot on the brake.

Think of your friends, family, and other commuters and beautify before you drive.


WHAT’S UP WEDNESDAY: 10/06/21

Wednesday, October 06, 2021

Something most people don’t realize is that police units’ radar can detect your speed before you see them. Most radars can even clock the speed of a vehicle as it comes up behind them.

Two types of radar are typically used by police officers — stationary and moving. Stationary radar must be used from a static site. It’s hand-held and looks like an oversized pistol. Moving radar allows patrolling units to clock vehicles while driving. It can clock vehicles as they approach and drive away from patrolling units.

Speeding not only refers to driving over the posted speed limit. Speeding can also include other behavior such as driving too fast for road conditions like rain or ice or driving carelessly through construction zones. The most common dangers caused by speeding include but are not limited to the following:

  • Increased occurrence of rollover accidents
  • Increased potential for loss of control as a driver
  • Higher severity of crash if an accident does occur
  • Increasing the amount of distance needed to safely stop a vehicle
  • Reduced reaction time

Please plan your trips to keep yourself and your fellow commuters safe.