Many of us will make New Year’s resolutions to lose weight, exercise more, and abolish bad habits. Instead of picking the usual options, consider making some New Year’s resolutions about driving instead. According to the National Safety Council, 40,000 Americans perished in motor vehicle accidents during 2017 (2018 figures aren’t available at this time). Additionally, 4.6 million were injured seriously enough to require medical attention. Here are some ways to help:
Never drink and drive
Eliminate distractions while driving
Drive the speed limit
Always buckle up
Maintain your vehicle and tires
Although it may be common sense, if we follow the steps above, the roadway will be a much safer place. Start the New Year out right by committing to driving safer.
By now almost everyone is familiar with the 1983 American Christmas comedy film A Christmas Story. In the movie, Mr. Parker brings home the infamous leg lamp, and notes that the box says, “Fragile,” which he takes to mean, “Fra-gee-lay,” which, “Must be Italian!” Mrs. Parker quickly corrects him, noting, “I think that says FRAGILE, dear.” It is not only a funny quote; it is also a great reminder that it is important to not drive impaired.
Driving impaired is a problem on our nation’s roads every day, but it’s more prevalent during the holidays. According to the NHTSA, there were 285 DUI related fatalities during the New Year’s and Christmas periods in 2018. NHTSA also reported that, during the 2017 holiday period, 45% of the drivers killed in fatal crashes tested positive for drugs. The tragedy of these deaths is felt year-round, but for many, most strongly during the holidays.
“This holiday season, give the gift of sober driving, and help us spread the word that impaired driving is more than just a bad choice – it is illegal, deadly, and selfish behavior” stated Lt. Thea Andras, Patrol Supervisor for the Causeway Police Department.
To report impaired drivers, commuters are encouraged to dial *27 (*CP) from their cellular phone or 504-835-3116 to contact the Causeway and Huey P. Long Police dispatch. Merry Christmas from the GNOEC Commission and Staff.
Holidays are meant to be a joyful time, but the Christmas holidays are accompanied by a staggering toll on our nation’s highways. According to the National Safety Council, there is an average of 343 fatalities in traffic deaths each year during the three day Christmas holiday period. Excess speed is a factor in approximately 70 percent of those accidents, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
A vehicle traveling faster than another one on the Causeway usually ends up at the same traffic light when exiting the bridge. That is because speeding does not significantly decrease one’s commute time. Theoretically, traveling 10 mph faster on the Causeway saves you approximately 2 minutes. The risks aren’t worth the little you might gain in time – not to mention the ticket too.
So, although it would be great to fly over Christmas holiday traffic in Santa’s sleigh, please travel the speed limit. Not only are speeding tickets expensive and accidents can cost your life, Santa is always watching to see if you have been naughty or nice!
Everyone should be familiar with Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. He is the ninth and youngest of Santa Claus’s reindeer. Rudolph uses his luminous red nose to lead the reindeer team and guide Santa’s sleigh on Christmas Eve. Though Rudolph initially receives ridicule for his nose as a fawn, the brightness of his nose is so powerful that it illuminates the team’s path through harsh winter weather.
Today, driving lit has a new meaning. Lit is slang term that means “the state of being so intoxicated that all the person can do is smile, so that they look lit up like a light”. Although Rudolph saves Christmas with his bright red nose, driving lit can have devastating results.
The temptation to drink is so strong during the holidays that even people who are moderate consumers of alcohol tend to increase their drinking rates. Not only do people drink more, but there are more cars out on the roadway, more people driving late at night, and in bad winter weather. This increase in consumption is not only due to holiday parties. For many, loneliness, stress and economic difficulty can lead to seasonal binge drinking.
This is the season of giving, so give yourself and others the gift of safer roads by driving sober over the holidays. Remember, only Rudolph should drive lit for the holidays.
Kindness is defined as the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate. Being kind is not only beneficial to others; it can also increase serotonin, decrease stress, ease anxiety, and possibly prolong life.
Unlike kindness, tailgating has negative effects on a person. Not only is a person causing adverse damage to themselves, but tailgating can also potentially be dangerous to other drivers. According to the National Safety Council, one in eight of all crashes involves at least one vehicle running into the back of another.
An easy way to ensure you are not tailgating is by using the two-second rule: as the car in front passes an object, count “one thousand and one, two thousand and two” at normal speed. You should pass the object at the point where you would start saying three thousand and three. Or, say “only a fool breaks the two-second rule”, which should be about the same amount of time.
Always be kind. Kindness is contagious and your actions have a bigger impact than you might realize. While driving, one act of kindness might lead to others arriving safely to their destination.